Playtech has moved to strengthen its presence in the casual games sector with the acquisition of Dundee-based studio YoYo Games for US$16.4m.
YoYo offers clients a proprietary mobile-driven cross-platform casual game development solution, Game Maker: Studio (GMS) that allows developers to create games using a single programming code and publish them across a number of platforms.
Products created using GMS have been downloaded more than 5m times on platforms such as iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox and Windows 8. Currently more than 750,000 registered developers use the platform on a freemium basis, paying extra for additional services and solutions.
YoYo has been acquired help Playtech build its presence in the casual gaming space, where it already develops products via Plamee, an internal games development team through which was established early in 2014 and now employs more than 120 developers.
This, Playtech said, is part of a three-pronged strategy to penetrate the sector, combining Plamee’s proprietary games with publishing of both in-house and third party games, and YoYo’s casual gaming technology.
Playtech's directors believe that the continued development of the GMS technology would enable it to expand the number of products being created using the solution.
Playtech explained that it felt the product would fit well with the Plamee team, extending its expertise and know-how in the development of casual games, marketing systems and related infrastructure.
“This acquisition will enable the company to further diversify its business, benefiting from a combined B2B/B2C offering focused on a strong and growing segment of the wider gaming market,” Playtech added in a statement.
The $16.4m acquisition cost will be funded from the company’s existing cash reserves, with 30 per cent to be held in escrow for up to 36 months after closing to act as security for the deal. An earn-out and retention plan is expected to add a further US$5.25m to the aggregate cost.