Playtika Acquires Mobile Game Developer Wooga
Casual games developer Wooga will now come under the roof of social casino game giant Playtika, after the company put down more than $100 million to complete the acquisition.
As part of the deal, Playtika will acquire Wooga’s 190 employees, including founder Jens Begemann, who played a key role in Wooga’s success. Playtika plans to keep the entire team, but won’t disclose the exact amount involved in the acquisition.
Wooga stood out among competitors in the mobile games industry which is estimated to have a market value of $70 billion. Wooga made an impression in the market with its popular casual games such as Bubble Island and Diamond Dash.
It ventured into hard core games but failed, resulting in layoffs. Wooga then focused its attention on story-based casual games like Pearl’s Peril and June’s Journey where players find hidden objects and solve puzzles.
Robert Antokol and Uri Shahak founded Playtika in 2010. The Israel-based company was behind the hit game Slotomania which still brings in a steady stream of incoming for the company, generating around $20 million to $22 million per month, based on a report from analyst firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. In 2011, gambling company Caesars Interactive bought Playtika for $150 million.
Antokol said Playtika’s acquisition of Wooga puts the company in a better position as it expands to the casual games genre. Playtika’s notable live-operations, large-scale performance marketing and state of the art technology, combined with Wooga’s creativity in developing story-led games, will bring the company’s gaming experience to a whole new level.
Top Social Casino Games Maker
Playtika currently sits at the top of the social casino games market with a 28.6 percent market share, dwarfing its nearest rival Aristocrat. Playtika’s revenue for the third quarter stands at $372 million. The company was acquired for the second time after a consortium led by China’s Giant decided to put down $4.4 billion in 2016 to acquire the company. Caesars had to part with Playtika as it was looking to pay down its large debt.
The acquisition of Wooga will enable Playtika to boost its strategy as it diversifies into a new genre of games. Casual games will comprise half of Playtika’s titles after the acquisition. Playtika has a massive user-base, with 22 million active users playing its games. It has 2000 employees and has a total of 12 offices in Israel, US, the UK, Japan and South America.
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