News Corp jumps into games with Bossa buy

News Corp jumps into games with Bossa buy

By Rob Crossley

September 16th 2011 at 11:30AM

Elisabeth Murdoch brands social gaming 'a critical component our strategy'

Media conglomerate News Corporation is extending its reach into games and social networks with the acquisition of London studio Bossa.

News Corp's UK subsidiary Shine – run by Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth – says it will entrust Bossa with its existing brands and properties.

Shine has previously released content across a range of platforms such as iOS and web browsers, though the Bossa buyout is thought to be its first digital business acquisition.

“We have long identified social gaming as a critical component to our strategy,” Elisabeth Murdoch said.

“In Bossa Studios we discovered an entrepreneurial, creative team that shared our passion for creative excellence. They have bold ideas for this space which we naturally welcome and will be a significant addition to the Shine Group.”    

Financial terms were not disclosed, though it was confirmed that Yoel Flohr, Shine’s vice president of digital content, has joined the Bossa board as part of the deal.

Bossa Studios (team pictured above) will build games “exclusively” for the social networking space and develop new cross-platform content, Shine said.

The London games outfit, thought to have around 20 developers, quietly launched last year. It is aiming to break the social mould with a new Facebook game tailor-made for core and casual audiences.

Its debut release, called Monstermind, is just days away from launch following months of intense development. An open beta for the game can be found here.
 
“Shine has shown a great support for Bossa Studio’s creative-led mission,” said Bossa director Henrique Olifiers.

“In addition to launching entirely new concepts, we hope to offer hundreds of millions of TV viewers and social gamers the opportunity to experience some their most-loved programmes in an entirely fresh, immersive way.”

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In April, News Corporation acquired Shine in a deal worth £415 million.

Two months prior, the media conglomerate bought San Francisco social games start-up Making Fun.

The studio is headed up by PlayFirst co-founder John Welch and Twofish co-founder Lee Crawford, and has previously created games for brands including theme park giant Six Flags.