Jam City Acquires Award-winning Game Studio Ludia for $165 Million
Announces $350 Million in New Funding to Continue Global Expansion
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#JamCity–Jam City, Inc., a leading mobile entertainment company behind some of the world’s highest-grossing and most enduring mobile games today, announces it has completed the acquisition of award-winning mobile game studio Ludia Inc. from Fremantle for $165 million. Ludia’s growing portfolio of hit mobile games, including the Jurassic World games (Jurassic World: The Game, Jurassic World Alive) and upcoming DC and Disney titles, has been expanding the way fans of the world’s top franchises engage with their favorite worlds, across multiple game categories. Jurassic World Alive, Ludia’s latest game inspired by the blockbuster movie franchise from Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, has established itself as one of the leaders in augmented reality-based gaming.
Jam City’s acquisition of Ludia continues to fulfill the company’s mission to bolster its global portfolio of top studios that develop and publish top-grossing internally-developed and third-party licensed IP-based games. In connection with the acquisition, Jam City raised $350 million in equity and debt financing from Netmarble, Kabam and affiliates of funds managed by Fortress Investment Group. The financing round is Jam City’s largest to date.
“The synergy between Ludia’s imagination, polish and innovative game mechanics with Jam City’s data science platform creates the perfect marriage between our two companies and adds significant value to their deep, rich entertainment experiences,” said Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of Jam City. “The latest round of funding solidifies our strategy of acquiring great companies across the globe and heavily investing in our current studios to build enduring entertainment experiences that rival blockbuster Hollywood hits.”
“With a growing portfolio of evergreen titles and the company’s most ambitious slate of upcoming games in the company’s history, it was time for Ludia to find the right strategic partner,” said Alex Thabet, co-founder and CEO of Ludia. “Jam City is the perfect home to achieve the full growth potential ahead of us.”
“We are pleased to support Jam City in its acquisition of Ludia. The combined business has a strong, diversified portfolio of mobile games driven by both owned and licensed IP and is well-positioned to remain a market leader,” said Ian Schnider, Managing Director in the Fortress Credit Funds business.
Jam City is a leader in mobile entertainment, providing unique and deeply engaging games that appeal to broad global audiences. The company’s diverse game portfolio of enduring franchises has been entertaining players for many years. It has generated more than $3 billion in lifetime bookings and 1.3 billion cumulative installs to date, in aggregate including Ludia. Since 2014, Jam City has won Best Game awards from Apple, Facebook, Google and Pocket Gamer, in addition to a Media Excellence award and Writer’s Guild award nomination, among many others. Prior to the Ludia acquisition, Jam City achieved double-digit compound annual growth in both bookings and profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis for the past five years through 2020.
South Korea-based Netmarble, one of the largest and most successful mobile gaming companies in the world, previously led a $130 million equity investment in Jam City in 2015. Subsequently, in 2019, Jam City raised $145 million in strategic financing led by a bank syndicate including Joint Lead Arrangers JPMorgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch with Silicon Valley Bank, Truist Securities and CIT Bank.
Jam City will use proceeds from the financing to help further its strategy to build out its portfolio of bold, innovative and novel studios from around the globe. Over the past five years, Jam City has added the Rainbow Star studio in Burbank and completed acquisitions of TinyCo in San Francisco, Uken Games in Toronto, and 231Play in Berlin, materially increasing the performance of each one, now integrated within the Jam City global studio network.
About Jam City
Jam City is an award-winning mobile entertainment company providing unique and deeply engaging games that appeal to a broad, global audience. Led by CEO Chris DeWolfe, former MySpace co-founder and CEO, and COO Josh Yguado, former 20th Century Fox executive, Jam City is the creative powerhouse behind some of the highest-grossing and most enduring mobile games. Jam City’s global franchise Cookie Jam has generated more than $800 million in lifetime bookings and Panda Pop has generated $400 million in lifetime bookings to date. The company is a partner of choice for Hollywood studios, having developed immersive, narrative-rich mobile games around iconic entertainment brands. The company’s popular RPG game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery was the #1 game in more than 40 countries at its launch in April 2018. Jam City currently has studios and talent located in Los Angeles (HQ), Burbank, Cedar Falls, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco and, internationally, in Berlin, Bogotá, Buenos Aires and Toronto. For more information, please visit www.jamcity.com.
About Ludia, Inc.
Ludia Inc. is one of Canada’s leading mobile video game companies. Its high-quality portfolio includes original games based on internationally recognized brands such as Jurassic World Alive, DreamWorks Dragons: Titan Uprising, Warriors of Waterdeep, Lovelink, Jurassic World: The Game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legends, DreamWorks Dragons: Rise of Berk, and much more. The development studio welcomes almost 400 dynamic and bright crew members. Awarded “Canada’s Best Game Maker” by Apple, Ludia was also recognized for “Best Place to Work 2018” by gamesindustry.biz and “Montreal’s Top Employers 2021”. In 2009, Fremantle acquired an initial stake of 29 percent in Ludia and increased its shareholding to 100 percent between 2010 and 2014. For more information, visit ludia.com, our Facebook page Facebook/LudiaGames, LinkedIn/Ludia or Twitter/LudiaGames.
About Netmarble Corporation
Established in South Korea in 2000, Netmarble Corporation is a top developer and publisher pushing the boundaries of the mobile gaming experience with highly innovative games including Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds, Lineage 2: Revolution, The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross, Blade & Soul Revolution and Marvel Future Fight. As a parent company of Kabam, and a major shareholder of Jam City and HYBE (formerly Big Hit Entertainment), Netmarble strives to entertain audiences around the world with a variety of mobile games based on its powerful franchises and collaborations with IP holders worldwide. More information can be found at http://company.netmarble.com
Kabam is a world leader of developing entertaining, immersive and highly social multiplayer games for mobile devices. They merge consumer behavior with the art of game design to create experiences that are enjoyed by millions of players across the globe. Each game has raised the benchmark in mobile gaming, bringing high-quality graphics, next-generation technology and revolutionary gameplay to the console in every player’s pocket. Kabam has worked with leading entertainment brands like Disney, Hasbro and Universal to create mobile games based on some of the world’s most iconic franchises. Kabam’s games have generated hundreds of millions of downloads including Marvel Contest of Champions, Transformers: Forged to Fight and Shop Titans. Founded in 2006, Kabam has studios and offices in Vancouver, Montreal, Charlottetown, San Francisco and Austin, Texas. Kabam is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Netmarble.
About Fortress Investment Group
Fortress Investment Group LLC is a leading, highly diversified global investment manager. Founded in 1998, Fortress manages $53.1 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2021, on behalf of approximately 1,800 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of credit and real estate, private equity and permanent capital investment strategies.