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Playtika Looks to Expand Outside Social Casino Sector with Wooga Acquisition

Israel-based social casino giant Playtika announces another acquisition as part of rise and diversification strategy

Israeli developer of social casino plays Playtika has acquired Wooga Gmbh, a Berlin-based publisher of mobile-friendly story-driven games, in an attempt to diversify its business outside of its core market.

No details of the deal were revealed by the involved parties, but is in accordance with generators familiar with the terms of the acquisition, Playtika has paid more than $100 million for the German game developer.

Wooga was founded in 2009 by Jens Begemann. The company rose to importance with casual mobile titles like June’s Journey and Pearl’s Peril that aspect hidden objects for musicians to find or puzzles. It tried to diversify its offering with more hardcore games, but that undertaking did not demonstrate profitable and eventually resulted in staff layoffs. Currently employing 180 people at its Berlin studio, Wooga says it has regained its strength in the $70 -billion casual plays marketplace after shaky two years.

Wooga have hitherto raised around $30 million from the likes of Highland Capital Partners and Balderton Capital. In a statement issued from earlier on, video games publisher said it sees it the right decision to “now partner with a brand-new owned that will grow with[ them ], ” instead of having VCs vesting for a limited time and then looking to sell their shares.

Playtika will retain Wooga’s current staff and Mr. Begemann. It likewise became known that the Berlin studio’s portfolio of games will remain the same.

Expansion and Diversification through Acquisition

The acquisition of Wooga comes merely over a year after Playtika purchased Israeli studio Jelly Button Game Ltd. in what became its first foray outside its main sell of social casino games.

Playtika, which is based in Herzliya, Israel, announced earlier this year the purpose of formulating its investment limb Playtika Growth Investments. The corporation also revealed are projected to spend up to $400 million through its investment division to acquire digital business either already profitable or near breakeven and that give proved products.

Since founded in 2010, Playtika has invested more than $300 million buying ten corporations, excluding Wooga. The Israeli social casino game developer itself was sold twice to larger jobs. In 2011, Caesars Interactive, subsidiary of gaming and hospitality monster Caesars Entertainment Corp. bought Playtika for $150 million. In 2016, a consortium of companies led by China’s Shanghai Giant Network Technology Co ., Ltd. bought the studio for $4.4 billion.

Playtika’s game Slotomania has been a massive make over the years. According to a report by Eilers& Krejcik Gaming, video games generates between $20 million and $22 million every month.

Of their latest buy, Playtika founder and CEO Robert Antokol said that they realise great opportunities for the company in the casual plays genre and the add-on of Wooga “firmly stances[ them] for this next period of[ their] evolution.”

According to analysts, Playtika is the leader in the social casino games marketplace with a 28.6% share. It is also of the view that the company is twice the size of its nearest contestant, Australia’s Aristocrat.

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