NEW YORK MTV Networks has acquired Atom Entertainment, one of the leading producers of online casual games and Web entertainment programs, for $200 million.
Despite its low profile, Atom is one of the more popular entertainment brands to have sprung up on the Web in recent years. Its properties claim a total of 17 million unique monthly users. The company owns Shockwave.com, an online hub for various free ad-supported programs, ranging from classic puzzle and card games to action titles like 4 Wheel Fury. Sister site AddictingGames.com is also included in the deal.
In addition to gaming, Atom also runs AtomFilms.com and AddictingClips.com, both outlets for short films and user-generated viral videos that generally appeal to a younger, MTV-like demographic.
"Atom Entertainment is a best-in-class and dynamic property, with brands that have dedicated, passionate followers and content that resonates with our global audience," said MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath, in a statement. "This acquisition is in line with our business strategy of being a leader in the digital space and connecting with consumers on every platform and device they use."
MTVN's digital business strategy has been to amass a roster of lesser known, yet popular Web entertainment properties, rather than make flashy acquisitions. In the past year-plus the company has snatched up the popular online video hub iFilm; Xfire, a social networking platform for gamers; GameTrailers.com; and Neopets, a virtual pet community for kids.
On Monday, MTVN and Google said they would test an online video distribution system designed to serve consumers, Web publishers and advertisers [Adweek Online, Aug. 7].
Google plans to distribute ad-supported content from MTVN to targeted site publishers, allowing them to showcase clips from various series.