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Video
Big Fish Games, Inc.
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
Founded2002; 19 years ago
FounderPaul Thelen
HeadquartersSeattle, Washington, United States
350 (2020)
ParentAristocrat Leisure
Websitebigfishgames.com

Big Fish Games is a casual gaming company based in Seattle, with a regional office in Oakland, California, owned by Aristocrat Leisure. It is a developer and distributor of casual games for computers and mobile devices. It has been accused of knowingly deceiving customers into signing up for monthly purchases without informed consent.[1] It was also the subject of a class action lawsuit over its app Big Fish Casino, resulting in a settlement of $155 million after a federal appeals court ruled that it constituted illegal online gambling.[2][3]

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History[edit]

The company was founded in 2002.[4] In 2009, it announced the opening of their new European headquarters in Cork, Ireland.[citation needed]

In July 2010, the company passed one billion game downloads from its online portal.[5]

In August 2013, the company announced the closing of its cloud-based games service, Vancouver studio and Cork offices.[6]

In 2014, the company was acquired by Churchill Downs Inc. in a deal valued at up to $885 million.[7][8]

In 2018, Churchill Downs sold Big Fish to Australian gambling machine manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure for $990 million.[9]

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In September 2018, Big Fish cut 15% of its workforce,[10] and September 2020, it cut nearly 50% of its workforce.[11]

Big Fish Studios[edit]

Big Fish Games has a number of studios split between the Seattle office and Oakland office that develop games: Self Aware Games, Triton Studios, Epic Ventures and ARC Studios.

Games developed by the various Big Fish studios include:

  • Drawn series: Dark Flight, The Painted Tower, Trail of Shadows
  • Hidden Expedition series
  • Mystery Case Files series

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Online games[edit]

The company entered browser gaming with its acquisition of the game website Ion Thunder in 2007; the service was re-branded as Atlantis following the acquisition.[citation needed] The service, which was later revamped as Big Sea Games in 2009, was shut down in 2010 as part of the company's shift from traditional online games to social games on Facebook and mobile apps.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^Duryee, Tricia (August 6, 2014). 'Lawsuit accuses Big Fish of baiting customers into signing up for 'free' game memberships that really aren't'. GeekWire. Archived from the original on September 9, 2016.
  2. ^Soper, Taylor (August 31, 2020). 'Judge approves $155M class action settlement related to Big Fish Games and online gambling lawsuit'. GeekWire. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  3. ^Makuch, Eddie (September 1, 2020). '250 Jobs Lost At Big Fish Games As Company Reaches $155 Million Settlement'. GameSpot. Archived from the original on September 26, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  4. ^'About Big Fish'. Big Fish Games. Archived from the original on April 9, 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  5. ^Martin, Matt (July 20, 2010). 'Big Fish passes one billion game downloads'. GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on December 18, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  6. ^Cook, John (August 21, 2013). 'Full memo: Big Fish CEO announces job cuts, cancellation of cloud games business and closure of Ireland and BC facilities'. GeekWire. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  7. ^Wingfield, Nick (November 12, 2014). 'Churchill Downs to buy Big Fish Games for up to $885 million'. The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 26, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  8. ^'Churchill finishes purchase of Big Fish Games'. The Blood-Horse. December 16, 2014. Archived from the original on July 26, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  9. ^'Seattle-based Big Fish Games being sold for $990M to Australian firm'. The Seattle Times. Associated Press. November 29, 2017. Archived from the original on July 26, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  10. ^Levy, Nat (September 25, 2018). 'Internal memo: Big Fish Games cutting 15% of its workforce, including key executives'. GeekWire. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020.
  11. ^Soper, Taylor (September 1, 2020). 'Seattle-based Big Fish Games lays off 250 people'. GeekWire. Archived from the original on September 1, 2020.
  12. ^Bell, Erin (August 9, 2010). 'Big Sea Games fans swim to other ponds'. GameZebo. Archived from the original on July 29, 2020. Retrieved December 8, 2014.

External links[edit]

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Coordinates: 47°37′15″N122°21′43″W / 47.620941°N 122.361906°W

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