Playtika who is a giant in the social casino game industry has decided to pursue another niche – the casual gaming market. The company recently announced that it has acquired mobile games maker Wooga which will help the company move forward in this direction.
The deal, which reportedly involves more than $100 million, will see half of Playtika’s portfolio now being comprised of casual titles.
Wooga – Strong Reputation In Casual Gaming
Wooga was founded by Jens Begemann in 2009 and is one of the world’s most popular social and mobile games developers in the casual gaming space. The Berlin-based company created games like Diamond Dash and Bubble Island and rose to prominence with around 50 million users worldwide.
Diamond Dash in particular has become one of the most addictive games online and offline. The 3-in-a-row matching game rewards players with bonuses within a 60-second time frame. The game also has team battle tournaments where groups of players compete with each other in a fun and exciting manner. The game has lots of new features, with various options available to players. It is downloadable for free, but also involves real money through virtual purchases of items made by players.
Wooga is also the same company behind famous titles like June’s Journey and Pearl’s Peril – casual games that adopt a puzzle and hidden-object format.
Wooga went through difficult times after an unsuccessful expansion into hard core games. It underwent restructuring and layoffs, and focused its efforts and resources on its main expertise –story-driven casual games. It recovered and eventually returned to profitability last year.
Playtika will retain Wooga’s team of 190 employees and Begemann will remain at the helm of the Wooga studio. Terms of the agreement as well as the actual worth of the acquisition have not been released.
Playtika Makes Strategic Acquisition
Playtika is a leader in the social casino games market. It dominates the market and reportedly has a 28.6 percent share of the total market. The Herzliya, Israel-based firm was started by Robert Antokol and Uri Shahak in 2010 and are the creators of Slotomania which has become a massive hit with casino players.
Slotomania continues to generate massive income for the company, with monthly revenues hitting the $20 million mark according to the latest figures released by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
Playtika was acquired in 2011 by Caesars Interactive for $150 million. Caesars kept the company for around five years before deciding to put it on sale in order to help pay off their huge debt. Playtika was bought for a second time by a Chinese consortium in 2016 in a deal worth $4.4 billion.
Jelly Button Games was the first casual games company to be acquired by Playtika. Since the acquisition in October 2017, Jelly Button has seen massive revenue growth.
Playtika is a large company with over 2000 employees spread across its 12 headquarters in Tel-Aviv, Las Vegas, Chicago, Montreal, London, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Santa Monica, Bucharest, Kiev, Dnepr, Vinnitsa and Minsk. The firm currently has 22 million monthly active users.
Playtika Moves Forward With Diversification Stategy
The casual games market will open up great opportunities for Playtika. The acquisition of Wooga to the Playtika family will firmly position the company as it continues to evolve with the latest developments in the social games industry. Moreover, the deal is a huge step in Playtika’s diversification strategy.
The deal will combine Wooga’s unmatched creativity in developing story-driven games with Playtika’s advanced technologies, data-driven personalization and expertise in live operations and performance marketing. Begemann said the acquisition opens a new journey for Wooga in what he considers a very natural fit for both companies. Becoming part of Playtika will help Wooga in reaching new audiences and boosting its growth.
Playtika released a statement stating that it was happy with the acquisition since both companies share similar values and culture which an important factor in the successful integration of Wooga into Playtika.  Being part of a bigger company will make it easier for Wooga to face rising competition in the market. The company said it made the right decision to partner with Playtika as venture capitalists would only invest for limited periods and would eventually sell their shares.
Wooga was previously funded by Balderon Capital, Tenaya Capital, Holtzbrinck Ventures and Highland Capital Partners. The combined forces of two of the world’s top social games makers will bring a whole new level of gaming experience to the market. Wooga has confirmed that it will retain its product portfolio following the acquisition.

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