Big Fish is getting bigger, and now it has an entire building to call home.
The Seattle-based gaming company, which was acquired by Churchill Downs Inc. this past December, is taking over the fifth floor and will soon own the entire 333 Elliott Building along the Seattle waterfront. The Puget Sound Business Journal reported the expansion on Thursday, noting that Big Fish will add nearly 28,000 square feet of space in the 137,500 square-foot building.
As a result, Classmates.com, the service which allows individuals to connect with former classmates, will be moving from the fifth floor to the 1501 Fourth Ave. downtown tower where Twitter’s Seattle cohort also calls home, the PSBJ reported. Founded by a former Boeing employee in 1995, Classmates.com was sold to United Online in 2004 and continues to maintain a presence online with more than 250,000 digital yearbooks and 57 million names.
Big Fish, meanwhile, is now under ownership of Churchill Downs Inc., which operates the famous Churchill Downs horse racetrack in Louisville and paid $885 million for the Seattle-based company.
“The mobile-online gaming space gives us new products, new customers, new geographies,” Churchill Downs CEO William Carstanjen said in November. “With the trends we see in mobile, smartphones, tablets, and other hand-held devices — the growth we see in mobile and online games, particularly in the social casino games — the segment is a logical adjacency.”
Carstanjen said they were particularly impressed with Big Fish’s “seasoned” management team, including founder Paul Thelen who he said has consistently built the business over the past 12 years. In fact, Thelen and crew have grown a decent-sized business, with annual gross bookings in 2013 of $278 million. That was up from $238 million in 2012.