I had a chance to speak with Jonathan Knight, RockYou’s SVP of Games who gave us more insight. The acquisition is part of RockYou’s larger strategy of being laser focused on social gaming. RockYou is repositioning itself as a design-centric company and looking to acquire creative talent. Being part of RockYou will give Playdemic’s 16 employees access to RockYou’s user base while maintaining creative control.
“At RockYou we place great value on the art of game-making,” said Jonathan Knight, RockYou’s SVP of Games, “and we’re elated to welcome the Playdemic team into our studio system. Playdemic will retain their culture and creative control, as they bring their significant game industry experience to making social games of today and tomorrow.”
This acquisition comes not long after RockYou’s prior acquisition of TirNua, a game engine developer with built-in support for localization, 3D avatars and synchronous gaming. The specific engine isn’t to be perceived as a model for the type of games RockYou wants to make but to be leveraged for its technological capabilities. Jonathan Knight also agreed that cross-platform gaming is the future and that RockYou will be positioning to deploy games on multiple platforms although there aren’t any official announcements yet.
Playdemic currently has a game on Facebook out called Gourmet Ranch with roughly $500,000. It combines farming with baking simulation and brings a new strategic layer – with 2 compulsion loops and investing in the team and studio.
With teams, talent, franchises and a laser focused strategy in place, RockYou may very well be able to leverage its resources to gain traction in the industry in a manner similar to Digital Chocolate. Congratulations to RockYou and Playdemic!