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Big Fish Games is a casual gaming company based in Seattle, owned by Aristocrat Leisure. It is a developer and distributor of casual games for computers and mobile devices. Its Game Manager is a digital rights management software that protects the games from piracy.

Big Fish Games, Inc.
Industry Video game
Computer software
Founded 2002; 16 years ago (2002)
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, United States
Key people
Paul Thelen, Chairman/CEO
Products Video games (Casual games)
Number of employees
700 (2013)
Parent Aristocrat Leisure



The company was founded by Paul Thelen in 2002 with $10,000.[1] In 2009, it announced the opening of their new European headquarters in Cork, Ireland.

In August 2013, the company announced the closing of its cloud-based games service, Vancouver studio and Cork offices.[2]

In 2014, the company was acquired by Churchill Downs Inc. in a deal valued at up to $885 million.[3][4]

In 2018, Churchill Downs sold the company to Aristocrat Technologies for $990 million.[5][6]

Big Fish StudiosEdit

Online gamesEdit

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.[9] 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.[10]


  1. ^ "Paul Thelen". Big Fish Games. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Wingfield, Nick (November 12, 2014). "Churchill Downs to buy Big Fish Games for up to $885 million". New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Churchill finishes purchase of Big Fish Games". The Blood-Horse. December 16, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  5. ^ "Seattle-based Big Fish Games being sold for $990M to Australian firm". Seattle Times. November 29, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Churchill Downs Incorporated announces closing of the sale of Big Fish Games, Inc. to Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. for US$990 million" (Press release). Churchill Downs Inc. January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2018 – via GlobeNewswire. 
  7. ^ "Chris Campbell, Brian Thompson, Peter Yiap". Adventure Classic Gaming. January 23, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Big Fish Games presents the Big Fish Games collection". Big Fish Games. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Big Fish Games Acquires Leading Multi-player Casual Game Site, Ion Thunder". Press release. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Big Sea Games fans swim to other ponds". Gamezebo. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 

External linksEdit