July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Machine Zone Inc., maker of the Game of War mobile application, is close to raising $250 million in a private placement led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., a person with knowledge of the company said.
The Palo Alto, California-based game maker, which has already brought in about $13 million from investors including Menlo Ventures, may disclose the funding by the end of the month, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Some existing shareholders are selling part of their stakes in the financing round, which values the company at $3 billion, the person said.
Game of War is the third-highest grossing game on Apple Inc.’s iOS mobile software, after Supercell Oy’s Clash of Clans and King Digital Entertainment Plc’s Candy Crush Saga, according to game consultant Think Gaming Inc. The mobile app, which recently became available for Google Inc.’s Android operating system, is free to download and charges users for buying tools that help them win.
Darin Oduyoye, a spokesman at JPMorgan, declined to comment on the funding round or valuation. A representative for Machine Zone didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.
Machine Zone, which also makes other games, unveiled Game of War in 2010 and updated it last year with its new Game of War: Fire Age edition, which brings in $619,197 in revenue a day and attracts 19,014 new users daily, according to Think Gaming. Users from all over the world can play in real time, and can communicate through a chat system that instantly translates different languages.
Other Internet- and mobile-game companies that depend heavily on one game or platform have faced challenges sustaining their audiences after the initial rush of users fades. Zynga Inc., which gained popularity with FarmVille, has seen its shares decline almost 70 percent since its initial public offering in 2011, and last year replaced its chief executive officer as losses mounted.
King Digital, which relies on Candy Crush for most of its revenue, said sales of its signature title shrank in the first quarter. The stock is down about 11 percent since a March IPO.
Machine Zone’s potential $3 billion valuation was reported earlier today by the Wall Street Journal.
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