Playtika acquires casual mobile game maker Wooga for over $100 million

Social on line casino recreation large Playtika introduced it has finished its acquisition of Wooga, the Berlin-based maker of informal video games. We heard the fee was once greater than $100 million.

Playtika will select up just about 190 workers within the deal, and it’s going to stay all of the group and its chief, Jens Begemann, who based Wooga in 2009 and helped trip cellular video games because it was a $70 billion trade. Playtika isn’t pronouncing how a lot it paid.

Wooga rose to prominence in cellular video games at the power of informal titles like Diamond Sprint and Bubble Island. After an ill-fated growth into hardcore video games, the corporate shrunk by the use of layoffs and fascinated by its core power: story-based informal video games like June’s Adventure and Pearl’s Peril. In the ones video games, gamers resolve puzzles and to find gadgets hidden in scenes.

Above: Jens Begemann, the CEO of Wooga, on the corporate’s colourful Berlin headquarters.

Symbol Credit score: Dean Takahashi

Herzliya, Israel-based Playtika, in the meantime, was once based in 2010 by way of Robert Antokol, CEO, and Uri Shahak. The corporate’s Slotomania recreation was once a success, and playing corporate Caesars Interactive purchased the corporate at a valuation of $150 million in 2011. Slotomania nonetheless generates about $20 million to $22 million a month, in line with a file by way of analyst company Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.

“We see nice alternatives for Playtika within the informal video games style and our acquisition of Wooga firmly positions us for this subsequent section of our evolution” stated Antokol in a observation. “Playtika’s strengths in enforcing live-operations, complicated AI and efficiency advertising and marketing at-scale will function an international springboard for Wooga’s creativity in ideating and creating profitable story-led titles. In combination we’ll convey audiences international a entire new stage of recreation reviews that by no means stop to captivate and amaze. The Wooga group is pushed and passionate, has robust management and we’re delighted to have them sign up for the Playtika circle of relatives.”

Playtika shot to the highest of the social on line casino video games marketplace, the place it has a No. 1 marketplace proportion with 28.6 p.c of the full marketplace and $372 million in third-quarter earnings, the analysts stated. They famous that Playtika is greater than two times the scale of its nearest competitor, Aristocrat.

It’s no marvel that Playtika itself was once bought for a 2d time by way of a consortium led by way of China’s Massive for $four.four billion in 2016.

Above: Jens Begemann, the CEO of Wooga, on the “Wall of Popularity,” the place even canceled video games are commemorated.

Symbol Credit score: Dean Takahashi

The Wooga acquisition marks a vital step within the execution of Playtika’s diversification technique into a brand new style of video games. Following the purchase, part of Playtika’s titles might be informal video games.

Playtika’s growth into new recreation genres started in October 2017 with its acquisition of informal video games corporate Jelly Button Video games, which has since observed twelve-fold earnings expansion.

The corporations stated that Wooga will mix robust ingenious and story-driven features in conjunction with Playtika’s data-driven personalization, live-operations and function advertising and marketing experience.

“That is an important day for Wooga. Turning into a part of Playtika is opening the following bankruptcy within the historical past of our corporate”, stated Begemann, in a observation. “This is a very herbal have compatibility for each events: now we have the experience in growing and launching story-driven informal video games, Playtika has the applied sciences to assist us scale and succeed in new audiences to proceed our expansion.”

Above: Elad Kushnir (left) and Robert Antokol of Playtika.

Symbol Credit score: Dean Takahashi

Playtika has 22 million per thirty days energetic customers enjoying its titles, and it now has greater than 2,000 workers in 12 workplaces, together with Tel-Aviv, London, Montreal, Chicago, Las Vegas, Santa Monica, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Kiev, Bucharest, Minsk, Dnepr, and Vinnitsa.

In an e-mail, a spokesperson for Playtika stated, “We really feel a robust connection between the 2 firms — sharing equivalent values and a equivalent tradition — which is very important for integrating Wooga effectively into Playtika. Moreover, Wooga’s location will give us get entry to to the superb skill hub in Berlin.”

Wooga stated it completed its turnaround and it’s going to be more straightforward to compete whilst being a part of a bigger corporate. Wooga additionally stated in an e-mail, “VCs normally make investments for a restricted time and would have sought after to promote their stocks within the subsequent years. As a substitute of getting that continuously looming over us, it was once the fitting choice to now spouse with a brand new proprietor that can develop with us.”

Wooga’s product portfolio will proceed to stick the similar.

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