Jamdat buys Blue Lava Wireless, secures Tetris rights

Mobile game publisher buys developer and its Tetris license; will leverage brand to fuel expansion into India and China.

Los Angeles-based mobile game developer and publisher Jamdat Mobile today made a string of announcements. Chief among them was news that the company had acquired Hawaii-based Blue Lava Wireless (BLW), the sole holder of the Tetris license for mobile platforms. Jamdat paid $137 million in cash and assets for the mobile game developer and license holder.

The acquisition gives Jamdat the worldwide wireless telephone rights to Tetris for the next 15 years. It will also inherit about 30 Blue Lava staffers who work at the Honolulu-based development studio. Blue Lava founder and CEO Henk Rogers will take a position on the Jamdat board.

Jamdat also announced adjusted guidance for its Q1 2005 earnings (for the quarter ending March 31, 2005). Jamdat is projecting a 30 percent increase sequentially over the previous quarter. The quarterly earnings are still subject to review, but the company says that it will likely report revenues of $15 million for the Jan.-Mar. quarter. Jamdat reports final earnings in approximately two weeks.

In addition to publishing the only licensed version of Tetris for mobile phones, Blue Lava Wireless also publishes a number of casual mobile games, including Dell Magazine's Crosswords and Chess Everywhere.

Jamdat Mobile publishes numerous titles for mobile phones and carriers around the world, including Bejeweled, YAHTZEE, Jamdat Sports NBA 2005, and Jamdat Bowling.

Last September, the company made its initial public offering of stock and is currently listed on the Nasdaq. Earlier this year, Jamdat acquired mobile game developer Downtown Wireless.

In a conference call today, Jamdat founder and CEO Mitch Lasky told analysts that the acquisition of the Tetris license will "serve as a catalyst for future growth" worldwide for the company. "In every region it is sold in, Tetris is one of the best-selling games," Lasky said.

With the acquisition of BLW and the Tetris license, Lasky said "Jamdat is now poised to capitalize market share as mobile phones proliferate among more casual gamers." Blue Lava's revenues were $12.1 million last year, with 90 percent of those revenues coming from its suite of Tetris games.

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