Toymaker and brand owner Hasbro has taken a majority stake in Colorado-based mobile developer Backflip Studios. Hasbro’s US$112 million cash outlay gives the company 70% ownership of the studio behind such games as DragonVale, NinJump and Paper Toss.
Four-year-old Backflip, founded by Julian Farrior, Dale Thoms and Tom Blind, has become one of the fastest-growing mobile game studios with more than 300 million downloads of its games.
Backflip will continue to develop its own IP alongside new mobile games featuring many of Hasbro’s known brands and its management team will continue to operate the company out of Boulder, Colorado.
The acquisition marks a significant step for the traditional toy company’s digital gaming strategy and comes just one week after an expanded mobile games agreement with Electronic Arts to develop multiplatform games based on its popular brands like Monopoly and Scrabble. And one month prior, Hasbro and Tokyo-based social gaming developer DeNA announced a collaboration on two free-to-play mobile games tied to the G.I. Joe and Dungeons & Dragons brands.