Sony Group is selling its mobile gaming subsidiary to US mobile game developer Scopely for about USD 1 billion, the company announced on Monday.
Sony’s mobile gaming unit, GSN Games, is a division of Game Show Network, which creates game shows and is a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The company started providing online games in 2007, in genres including bingo and card games. Its Solitaire TriPeaks game is played 100 million times per week.
SPE made Game Show Network a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2019 by investing about USD 380 million. Sony is focusing on gaming business that makes use of intellectual property from the group’s movies, anime, and other content. While the GSN games are popular, Sony decided they are not part of its core business.
Under the deal, the around 400 employees at GSN Games will move to Scopely. Sony will receive about half its payment in preferred stock, becoming a minority shareholder in Scopely. SPE said it sees “the opportunity to benefit from the expected growth of the company and the mobile games industry.”
Founded in 2011, Scopely’s main strength is seen as developing games using other companies’ IP. It has offices in seven countries including the US. Proceeds from the sale of GSN Games will be added to Sony’s operating profit, but the company is still assessing the impact on its earnings for the fiscal year ending March 2022.
Sony Group has increasingly been focusing on mobile technology, with each business unit working on mobile games. SPE has been developing games based on popular films such as Men in Black. Sony’s music subsidiary is producing mobile games based on anime including hit series Demon Slayer, while the subsidiary that sells the PlayStation console is planning mobile games based on popular PS titles.