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RockYou buys three Playdom games from Disney to keep them running

Above: RockYou will take over three Playdom games.

Image Credit: Disney

Social game publisher RockYou has purchased three major Playdom social games from Disney so that it save them from being shut down.

The move is part of a greater strategy that may endear RockYou to fans who face the prospect of seeing their favorite social games closed.

Lisa Marino of RockYou

Above: Lisa Marino of RockYou

Image Credit: RockYou

RockYou is acquiring Gardens of Time, Words of Wonder, and City Girl. All three games are from Disney’s Playdom division, which was recently hit with a bunch of layoffs. The acquisition is part of an ongoing strategy at RockYou to profitably operate games that are past their peak and might otherwise face shutdowns. The diehard fans of these games benefit because they get to keep playing games that might disappear as the original developer moves on to something new.

Lisa Marino, the chief executive of RockYou, said in an interview with GamesBeat that RockYou has hired a large number of the Playdom employees who were still operating the games. She said that her company has learned how to profitably operate social games on Facebook and elsewhere with smaller teams, even when the games are on the decline. RockYou’s intention is to have minimal disruption to the service and operation of these games.

“We’re incredibly pleased with how quickly Disney has facilitated this process,” Marino said. “Overall, we have found a great strategy that is an alternative to tradition. Gaming has been plagued by companies that are one-hit wonders. We are picking up games that are past their apex and can still be operated profitably with users who play every day.”

Words of Wonder is a word-puzzle game on Facebook and iOS; City Girl is a fashion and social simulator on Facebook; and Gardens of Time is a hidden-object game on Facebook and iOS.

Those are just the latest games that RockYou has grabbed, and RockYou will bring them over to its network in the coming months. Disney has been cutting a lot of games and studios in an effort to make its game business profitable. The Disney games have about 2.5 million monthly users on Facebook.

RockYou has also licensed a number of social games from Digital Chocolate: Army Attack, a turn-based strategy game; Crazy Penguin Wars, a comical multiplayer action game; Millionaire City, a city-building business sim; and Zombie Lane, a humorous role-playing game. RockYou will begin operating those games on its network this week. These currently have about 1 million monthly players.

And lastly, RockYou has acquired 50 Cubes, which makes games for targeted at women such as Mall World. Marino said that RockYou has acquired the team

All told, the acquisitions will add three million to four million users to RockYou’s existing network of 75 million users. RockYou operates games much like TV show syndicators do, making money from the entertainment long after it is past its prime, Marino said. RockYou monetizes a lot of its network through premium ads from top brands.

Disney said in its own statement, “This new relationship will allow RockYou, which maintains several top titles and runs one of the industry’s largest in-game video ad networks, to continue to serve the millions of people who enjoy playing these games each month. Moving forward, Playdom will focus on creating new game experiences for its players.”

Marino said that the company is able to hit 25 percent operating margins on its games.

“We’ll be operating all of the games in cash-flow positive manner,” Marino said. “In most cases, we are able to pick up the development and operating teams and keep them going.”

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More information:

Founded in 2005, RockYou runs the world’s largest and best monetized cross-platform advertising network for games, connecting brands to millions of highly-motivated consumers while helping game publishers grow their revenue. The ... read more »

Lisa is one of the key drivers to RockYou's success, and demonstrated strong leadership in her various capacities at the company. Previously Chief Operating Officer, she was instrumental in guiding the company as it dedicated itself to... read more »

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5 comments
Susanne Rudick
Susanne Rudick

Is there some way  to contact RockYou Support without getting an error message 422 ?

Susanne Rudick
Susanne Rudick

Is there a way to contact RockYou without getting an error message 422?

Dark Riddler
Dark Riddler

I have been playing Gardens since 2011. I lost everything after Playdom sold the game to you and of course i will not play it again from the start. 


I was at a high level (not as high as +100 like some of my dear GoT friends but at least +80) and had spent a fair amount of time making the garden, playing scenes and collecting awesome items. Well, all is gone and I am quite disappointed right now.


When all my (our) stuff will be available again?


Tried to submit a ticket at your Rock website but gave me an error so i'm trying to have some information through here*

Karen Speirs
Karen Speirs

on level 195 in words of wonder only to loose gold bars each time l purchase and try to continue with 3 xtra moves purchased level failed comes up and l have to return to start of level, can l get gold bars recredited pls

Betty Dixon Naylor
Betty Dixon Naylor

This is a request to RockYou.  Please bring back Ghosts of Mistwood from Playdom.  This game has MANY players.

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