Playdom Buys Resurgent Social Games Startup Metaplace

Metaplace, a social games startup which switched strategies earlier this year after its first business failed, has been purchased by Playdom. Initially intended to be a place where people could build their own virtual worlds, Metaplace shut down that service six months ago saying it wasn’t gaining enough traction and that it would instead put its game-creation technology to use in a different way.

It subsequently launched two games on Facebook — Island Life and My Vineyard — both of which have gained big followings; Island Life has more than 430,000 monthly active users, while My Vineyard has more than 760,000.

Metaplace is Playdom’s ninth investment since it raised $43 million in a first round of funding in November; it added $33 million to that round late last month.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not released, although Metaplace had the most venture capital backing of all of Playdom’s recent buys.

The company, which was founded four years ago by Sony (NYSE: SNE) Online veterans Raph Koster and John Donham had raised $9.4 million in funding from investors including Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz.