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Big Fish Games is a provider of Internet media delivery software and game services based in Seattle, Washington. The company was founded in 2002 by Paul Thelen, and currently employs more than 400 people. Most of Big Fish Games' titles can be played for free in trial form, with the full version available for a fee.
Big Fish Games has several lines of business including distribution of downloadable casual games, ad supported free online web browser games, game development studios, and most recently a social networking site for casual game players to share opinions and information about games.
Big Fish Games was founded by ex-RealNetworks executive Paul Thelen in 2002. Thelen was the Group Product Manager that launched the RealArcade games service for RealNetworks. In 2009, the company announced the opening of their new European headquarters in Cork, Ireland.
Big Fish Studios game development
In May 2002, the company was founded as a game development studio and experienced early success with titles like Mahjong Towers, Top Ten Solitaire and Word Wizard. Big Fish Studios now releases 12 to 15 original titles per year, developed using its own propriety game engine that supports both DirectX and OpenGL. Big Fish Studios also publishes titles from outside developers and controls online distribution of several hit franchises including Forgotten Riddles, Fish Tycoon, Virtual Villagers, Grimm's Hatchery and Master of Defense. Games developed by Big Fish Studios include:
- Drawn: Dark Flight (August 31, 2010)
- Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove (November 25, 2009)
- Hidden Expedition: Devil's Triangle (October 24, 2009)
- Drawn: The Painted Tower (September 5, 2009)
- Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst (November 27, 2008)
- Azada: Ancient Magic (August 29, 2008)
- Hidden Expedition: Amazon (June 20, 2008)
- Fishdom (Download), Fishdom 2 (Download), Fishdom H2O: Hidden Odyssey (Download), Fishdom splashes (Spooky and Frosty, Download)
- Mystery in London (December 14, 2007)
- Fairway Solitaire (December 7, 2007)
- Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate (November 6, 2007)
- Azada (June 29, 2007)
- Hidden Expedition: Everest (June 1, 2007)
- Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst (December 14, 2006)
- Atlantis Sky Patrol (August 25, 2006)
- Hidden Expedition: Titanic (July 21, 2006)
- Mystic Inn (April 12, 2006)
- Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects (April 6, 2006)
- Mystery Case Files: Huntsville (November 14, 2005)
Big Fish Games distributes casual downloadable games for over 500 developers. Big Fish Games has over 1,500,000 downloads per day on peak days. The service offers downloadable casual games with a try-before-you-buy model where consumers can play a selection of over 3000 games for free for 60 minutes, then have the option to purchase that game to keep playing.
Big Fish Games used to distribute online web browser games that were free to play and advertising supported. There were over 80 games to play. The games all included chat and players earned tokens that could be used to enter lotteries to win cash prizes and free games. Some of the games (just over 20) that used to be free to play on that site were on a sister site called Big Sea Games that was free to play with no advertising. After many problems it was announced that the sister site would be closed on 1 September 2010 after just over a year. 
- ↑ Thelen Worked Through Illness to Launch Big Fish. Puget Sound Business Journal (2005-09-09). Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
- ↑ Chris Campbell, Brian Thompson, Peter Yiap interview. Adventure Classic Gaming (2010-01-23). Retrieved on 2010-02-18.
- ↑ People and Big Fish Games Launch Exclusive Partnership. IGN.com (2009-07-30). Retrieved on 2009-10-25.