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Originally published Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 10:00 PM

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Big Fish Games toasts its billionth download

Big Fish is distributing more than 2 million games a day through its website and is on track to have 2010 sales "well in excess of $100 million," Chief Executive Jeremy Lewis said.

As it prepared for the Casual Connect conference this week, Seattle's Big Fish Games took a break Thursday to celebrate its billionth game being downloaded from its game portal.

The milestone was marked with a few kegs and a group photo with the fish sign outside the company's offices on Elliott Avenue.

Chief Executive Jeremy Lewis said the business "has been accelerating across every key performance indicator."

Big Fish is distributing more than 2 million games a day through its website and is on track to have 2010 sales "well in excess of $100 million," he said.

The company has more than 400 employees. Half are in Seattle and others are at offices in Ireland and Vancouver, B.C.

Growth is coming as Big Fish expands further into mobile gaming and new international markets.

Also growing are Big Fish fan clubs in its core audience of women aged 25 to 60. A group called the "Big Fish Babes" that surfaced at last year's Casual Connect conference has spawned at least five other groups of players in the United Kingdom, New Orleans, New York and Texas.

Lewis wouldn't comment on any plans for Big Fish to be acquired or take on a strategic partner this year.

Other companies making news at Casual Connect, which runs Tuesday through Thursday at Benaroya Hall, include Spoon, a Seattle company that provides application-virtualization technologies. Spoon is using the conference to announce Indie Game Garage, a platform for hosting and streaming games from independent studios.

Players will be able to try out games at the site without downloading them, and Spoon's offering to reduce distribution hassles for game developers. The system uses Spoon's application server, which delivers Windows apps via the Web without requiring setup by the end-user.

Also launching a platform soon for game developers is Hi5, a social network to a social-gaming platform. The company is based in San Francisco but has Seattle ties — it's chief executive, Bill Grossman, lives here and its chief technology officer, Alex St. John, is a Microsoft veteran who co-founded Redmond game company Wild Tangent.

St. John is going to mark the announcement by taking on a champion sumo wrestler at an event Tuesday night.

— Brier Dudley

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