Game Taco Founder Josh Barrow to lead combined business following carve out of WorldWinner from GSN Games
LOS ANGELES, May 17, 2021 — (PRNewswire) — Platinum Equity today announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Game Taco, a premier skill-based mobile gaming platform that joins gamers from around the world to play and compete in tournaments for fun and cash prizes. In connection with the transaction, Game Taco will acquire WorldWinner, a pioneer in skill-game development and offerings, from GSN Games, a Game Show Network division, which is wholly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment. The two companies will be combined, creating a premium skill-games competition platform boasting dozens of branded and generic titles. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Media executive David Nathanson will be a minority co-investor and serve as Executive Chairman of the combined businesses. Game Taco founder and CEO Joshua Barrow will serve as CEO.
"This investment brings together two complementary businesses under a powerful leadership team with an exciting vision for growth," said Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei. "Platinum's carve-out experience and operational expertise will help ensure a seamless transition and integration, maximizing the talents and technology of both companies."
The WorldWinner brand will continue operating under the Game Taco umbrella under the leadership of WorldWinner General Manager Matt Turetzky.
"Our acquisition of WorldWinner is a watershed moment for Game Taco," said Mr. Barrow. "David and I have had WorldWinner on our respective radar for years, and with our resources now combined, and with Platinum Equity's financial and operational backing, we position ourselves to aggressively pursue a much bigger share of the growing, multi-billion dollar skill-game industry."
Like Game Taco, WorldWinner.com and the WorldWinner app offer tournaments for players of all skill levels featuring many of the world's favorite games. Headquartered in Boston, with team members in Los Angeles, Ukraine, and India, WorldWinner is also recognized for in-house game development, a vast collection of renowned licensed games in a single destination, and a highly engaged community, prizing out more than $1.5 billion since 1999.
"I have long admired GSN's stewardship of WorldWinner. The invaluable expertise of Matt and the leadership team and their success in cultivating a portfolio of premium IP has made them a forerunner in skill-based games," said Mr. Nathanson. "GameTaco's existing skill-gaming platform, paired with WorldWinner's portfolio of leading games, is a formula for exceptional growth and innovation over the coming months and years."
Since 2016, Game Taco has partnered with top game developers to provide skill-gaming tournaments on their platforms in various popular genres. Game Taco already holds the rights to well-known game licenses, including Atari hits like Breakout, Asteroids, and Centipede, and the addition of WorldWinner's branded titles complements the portfolio. Additionally, WorldWinner's established web gaming portal will fuel Game Taco's expansion beyond its current mobile-only business model.
"The combined company will continue to serve a loyal and dedicated community that has been competing in skill-based games for more than two decades," said Platinum Equity Managing Director Dan Krasner. "We will invest to further expand the user base and seek out additional partnerships and other avenues for growth to capitalize on the increasing demand in this space."
About Platinum Equity
Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with more than $25 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 40 operating companies that serve customers around the world. The firm is currently investing from Platinum Equity Capital Partners V, a $10 billion global buyout fund, and Platinum Equity Small Cap Fund, a $1.5 billion buyout fund focused on investment opportunities in the lower middle market. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 25 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 300 acquisitions.
About Game Taco
Game Taco, founded by Joshua Barrow in 2016, is an online skill-based game tournament platform. It is designed to provide a fun, friendly, and trusted destination for users to play skill-based games against opponents of similar ability for fun and cash prizes. In addition to classic games like Solitaire, Game Taco is the exclusive provider of Atari skill games including Breakout, Asteroids, and Centipede.
About Game Show Network, LLC
Game Show Network, LLC ("Game Show Network") is the leader in game show entertainment across multimedia, which presents original and classic game programming and skill-based competitive entertainment and games via its cable network, the digital ad supported network, Game Show Central, the GameShowNetwork.com website and its position as one of the leading social casino games companies in the world at GSN.com. Game Show Network LLC's cross-platform content gives game lovers the opportunity to win cash and prizes, through its popular TV game shows and GSN Games' free casual games, mobile and social games, and skill-game tournaments. Game Show Enterprises, the production arm of the network, develops and produces hundreds of hours of original episodes, making Game Show Network the premiere destination for fun, family-friendly programming. Game Show Network is distributed throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Canada by all major cable operators, satellite providers and telcos. Game Show Network is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation. For further information, please visit GameShowNetwork.com
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. Sony Pictures Television operates dozens of wholly-owned or joint-venture production companies around the world. SPE's Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, Sony Pictures International Productions, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html.
Dan Whelan - Platinum Equity // Email Contact / (310) 282-9202
Stacy Weitz - Sony Pictures Entertainment // Email Contact/ 310-244-8834
Lou D'Ermilio – for Game Taco // Email Contact / 917-601-6898
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SOURCE Platinum Equity
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