Big Fish Games
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Paul Thelen, Chairman/CEO|
|Products||Video games (Casual games)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Churchill Downs Incorporated|
Big Fish Games is a casual gaming company based in Seattle, Washington, United States. It serves as both a developer and distributor of casual games, primarily on computers and mobile devices. It was founded in 2002 by Paul Thelen, and currently employs more than 500 people.
The company was founded by ex-RealNetworks executive Paul Thelen in 2002 with $10,000. Thelen was the Group Product Manager that launched the RealArcade games service for RealNetworks. In 2009, it announced the opening of their new European headquarters in Cork, Ireland. The BBB rates it "no rating" due to being "in the process of responding to previously closed complaints."
In August 2013, the company announced the closing of its cloud-based games service, Vancouver studio and Cork offices.
On November 12, 2014, the company was acquired by Churchill Downs Incorporated for $885 million. It is primarily involved in the gambling business, and is the owner of several major horse racing tracks, including its namesake Churchill Downs.
Big Fish Studios
Big Fish Studios is the internal development studio that publishes original titles every year through Big Fish Games. Many of these games are developed using its own proprietary game engine that supports both DirectX and OpenGL.
Games developed by Big Fish Studios include:
- Mystery Case Files: Huntsville (November 14, 2005)
- Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects (April 6, 2006)
- Mystic Inn (April 12, 2006)
- Hidden Expedition: Titanic (July 22, 2006)
- Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst (December 15, 2006)
- Hidden Expedition: Everest (June 1, 2007)
- Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate (November 7, 2007)
- Mystery in London (December 14, 2007)
- Hidden Expedition: Amazon (June 20, 2008)
- Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst (November 27, 2008)
- Drawn: The Painted Tower (September 5, 2009)
- Hidden Expedition: Devil's Triangle (October 24, 2009)
- Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove (November 25, 2009)
- Life Quest (April 29, 2010)
- Drawn: Dark Flight (October 2, 2010)
- Mystery Case Files: 13th Skull (January 8, 2011)
- Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident (June 27, 2011)
- Drawn: Trail of Shadows (October 19, 2011)
- Hidden Expedition - The Uncharted Islands (November 3, 2011)
- Mystery Case Files: Escape from Ravenhearst (December 23, 2011)
- Fairway Solitaire HD (May 24, 2012)
- Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake (December 26, 2012)
- Fetch (March 20, 2013)
- Mystery Case Files: Fate's Carnival (November 26, 2013)
- Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond (December 19, 2013)
- Fairway Solitaire Blast! (March, 11 2014)
- Gummy Drop (Big Fish Games) (December 18, 2014)
- Lifeline (Big Fish Games) (April 29, 2015)
The company distributes over 2500 casual downloadable games for over 500 developers. According to Big Fish Games, they serve over 1,500,000 downloads per day. The service offers downloadable casual games with a try-before-you-buy model where consumers can play games for free for 60 minutes, then have the option to purchase that game to keep playing.
The company entered the browser gaming with its acquisition of the game website Ion Thunder in 2007; the service was re-branded as Atlantis following the acquisition. 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.
- "Company History". Big Fish Games. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "Executive Team". Big Fish Games. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- "Paul Thelen". Big Fish Games. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Reese, Heather (September 11, 2005). "Thelen Worked Through Illness to Launch Big Fish". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved October 25, 2009.
- "Big Fish Games Inc". BBB. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- 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. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- "Seattle casual game-maker Big Fish Games acquired in $885 million deal". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Chris Campbell, Brian Thompson, Peter Yiap". Adventure Classic Gaming. January 23, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
- "Big Fish Games presents the Big Fish Games collection". Big Fish Games. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Takahashi, Dean (January 12, 2010). "Big Fish Games and PlayFirst team up for online game distribution". VentureBeat. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "People and Big Fish Games Launch Exclusive Partnership". IGN.com. July 30, 2009. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
- "Big Fish Games Acquires Leading Multi-player Casual Game Site, Ion Thunder". Press release. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Big Sea Games fans swim to other ponds". Gamezebo. Retrieved 8 December 2014.