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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