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Big Fish Games is a casual gaming company based in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is both a developer and distributor of casual games for computers and mobile devices.

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 (present)



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. The BBB rates it "no rating" due to being "in the process of responding to previously closed complaints."[2]

In August 2013, the company announced the closing of its cloud-based games service, Vancouver studio and Cork offices.[3]

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.[4]

In 2017, the company was sold to Aristocrat Technologies for 990 million dollars.[5]

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.[8] 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.[9]


  1. ^ "Paul Thelen". Big Fish Games. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Big Fish Games Inc". BBB. Retrieved April 12, 2016. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "Seattle casual game-maker Big Fish Games acquired in $885 million deal". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Chris Campbell, Brian Thompson, Peter Yiap". Adventure Classic Gaming. January 23, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Big Fish Games presents the Big Fish Games collection". Big Fish Games. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Big Fish Games Acquires Leading Multi-player Casual Game Site, Ion Thunder". Press release. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Big Sea Games fans swim to other ponds". Gamezebo. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 

External linksEdit