The Walt Disney Company announced Tuesday that it was paying $563 million to acquire "social gaming" company Playdom, the maker of Sorority Life and Mobsters--popular games on Facebook, MySpace, and mobile phones. Apparently social games are quite popular--according to this Business Week story, approximately 42 million people regularly play Playdom games each month. Another such game, Farmville, lists nearly 60 million active users on Facebook alone.
CNET notes that other major media companies are expected to jump on this social gaming bandwagon, too. Google has been considering whether to launch its own social networking site centered on such games. Dan Porter, CEO of an independent social gaming company called OMGPOP, is quoted in the story as stating: "Expect more deals as competing media companies like Viacom, Fox, IAC and others as well as large public game developers and Asian gaming giants roll through and answer back."