Cheshire games company changes hands in £1bn deal

Playdemic's workspace

US video game giant Electronic Arts has acquired Wilmslow-based gaming creator Playdemic in a £1bn deal.

California-based EA purchased Playdemic from WarnerMedia in an all-cash deal.

Playdemic, founded in 2010, is best known for its mobile and Facebook game Golf Clash.

Golf Clash is one of the leading mobile games in the US and UK and has more than 80 million downloads globally to date.

This is the third transaction involving Playdemic. It was acquired by California-based RockYou in 2011, but sold back to its founders later that year after RockYou encountered financial troubles.

Then Playdemic’s founders sold the company to Warner Bros’ TT Games in 2017, shortly after the launch of Golf Clash.

EA chief executive, Andrew Wilson, said: “In addition to the ongoing success of Golf Clash, the talent, technology and expertise of Playdemic will be a powerful combination with our teams and IP at Electronic Arts.

“This is the next step building on our strategy to expand our sports portfolio and accelerate our growth in mobile to reach more players around the world with more great games and content.”

David Haddad, WB Games president, said: “We have enjoyed working with the talented team at Playdemic as they have grown Golf Clash beyond all expectations into a hit mobile game with tremendous longevity.

“While we have great respect for the Playdemic team, our decision to divest is a part of our overall strategy to build games based on Warner Bros storied franchises.”

EA said there are no planned changes at the Wilmslow studios, adding: “Playdemic has a very experienced team that has worked together since 2014 with strong expertise in mobile games and the clash sports design, and we’re looking forward to working with and learning from their teams and creative leaders.”

Playdemic’s experienced executive team has worked together since 2014, with strong expertise in mobile games and a proven track record of success in clash games.

Its expertise in building mobile games beloved by players around the world, combined with EA’s industry-leading IP, presents opportunities to expand the clash mechanic to other franchises and for future growth in mobile experiences.

Paul Gouge, Playdemic chief executive, said: “We founded Playdemic with a focus on creating highly engaging and innovative game experiences.

“Our success with Golf Clash has proven our approach and demonstrated the ability of our incredibly talented teams to develop and operate best in class mobile games.

“Joining EA, one of the most successful games companies in the world, is an important next step in our journey and we are excited to continue to develop both Golf Clash and new titles as part of the EA family.”

In February last year Playdemic moved to bigger premises in Wilmslow, reflecting its continued growth.

Its premises in Sandfield House, on Water Lane, were delivered by CBRE’s national building consultancy team in Manchester, which appointed TP Bennett as the conceptual architects to design the new workspace, while ADT Workplace were appointed to complete the detailed design and undertake the works.

Gemma Parkinson, lead project manager for CBRE said: “Playdemic is a people and design-focused organisation and challenged us to deliver a studio which was out of the ordinary and indulgent.”

Mike Millward, commercial manager from ADT, said: “Playdemic is an innovative and highly creative organisation, so it was vital to deliver a workspace which provided a stimulating and supportive environment for its talented team.”