International Game Technology buys Double Down Interactive for $500M

International Game Technology has acquired DoubleDown Casino developer Double Down Interactive for $500 million, made up of $250 million in cash, $85 million in retention payments for the next two years and a $165 million earnout payable over the next three years.

DoubleDown Casino started off in 2010 looking like another pretender to Texas HoldEm Poker’s crown as top casino/gambling-themed game, but rapidly scaled in 2011 to become one of the top games in the genre on Facebook. According to our AppData traffic tracking service, the game currently enjoys 4.7 million monthly active users and 1.3 million daily active users. The developer plans to release a mobile version in a matter of weeks. Read our review of the Facebook version here.

With Facebook potentially allowing real money gambling in certain parts of the world (like in the United Kingdom, where it’s legal), gambling-themed social games like DoubleDown are well-positioned to access a new audience segment that wants to play with real money. Games that already have established audiences may also be able to convert existing players that use only in-game currency to real money players, given that people are more likely to trust a developer they know rather than new social game developers that build games only for real money gambling.

We’ve contacted DoubleDown Interactive for additional information on the acquisition. A conference call is also being held for the media tomorrow morning. We’ll update this story as necessary.