Scopely Picks Up ‘Wheel of Fortune Slots’ and More Free-to-Play Games for $1 Billion

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Scopely Picks Up ‘Wheel of Fortune Slots’ and More Free-to-Play Games for $1 Billion
Photo by Josue Ladoo Pelegrin on Unsplash

As major publishers bet big on free-to-play games, Sony Pictures Entertainment is taking a step back with the $1 billion sale of GSN Games to Scopely, one of Los Angeles' most valuable startups.


The cash-and-stock deal narrowly surpasses the total amount of funding that Scopely has raised to date ($998.5 million). Through the acquisition, Sony Pictures will become a minority shareholder in Scopely, and the startup will take control of mobile titles like "Wheel of Fortune Slots" and "Solitaire TriPeaks."

Culver City-based Scopely was valued at $3.4 billion about a year ago, according to Pitchbook.

"We hope to take what is already a strong business and accelerate it through our publishing and technology infrastructure, unlocking even more value," said Scopely chief revenue officer Tim O'Brien in a statement to press. "Through this acquisition, we will continue to cultivate a loyal player base as part of our mission to inspire play, every day."

Launched in 1999 as the online games site WorldWinner.com, a series of acquisitions eventually led to the creation of GSN Games, a subsidiary of Santa Monica-based Games Show Network — which itself became wholly owned by Sony Pictures after a series of yet more acquisitions.

The billion-dollar-deal follows Sony Pictures' sale of the WorldWinner brand to Game Taco, a San Francisco-based publisher, earlier this year.

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Venture Deals in LA Are Slowing Down, And Other Takeaways From Our Quarterly VC Survey

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Venture Deals in LA Are Slowing Down, And Other Takeaways From Our Quarterly VC Survey
Shutterstock

It looks like venture deals are stagnating in Los Angeles.

That’s according to dot.LA’s most recent quarterly VC sentiment survey, in which we asked L.A.-based venture capitalists for their take on the current state of the market. This time, roughly 83% of respondents reported that the number of deals they made in L.A. either stayed the same or declined in the first quarter of 2022 (58% said they stayed the same compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, while 25% said they decreased).

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Netflix Updated Its Culture Memo for the First Time in 5 Years to Address Censorship, Secrecy

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Netflix Updated Its Culture Memo for the First Time in 5 Years to Address Censorship, Secrecy
Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

Netflix promised change after its poor first-quarter earnings. One of the first targets: the Netflix Culture document.

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