Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) today announced that it has entered into a number of deals to further expand its world-class Digital game development capability, in line with its growth strategy. The investments are strongly aligned to targeted genres, particularly the highgrowth casual and merge segments where Aristocrat Digital already has a presence, and the social casino segment, in which the business has a market-leading position globally.
In total, three new studios will join Aristocrat Digital, deepening the business’ access to game development talent and studio capabilities in top-tier mobile game talent hubs across Northern and Eastern Europe. Details are as follows:
- Aristocrat has agreed to acquire Helsinki-based free-to-play mobile gaming studio Futureplay, which specialises in the growing merge/match 3 segment of the casual market. Founded in 2015, Futureplay has released six games that have been played by over 140 million users around the world, including titles such as Merge Gardens, Idle Farming Empire and Battlelands Royale. Futureplay will operate under the proven leadership of Jami Laes, as a studio reporting within Aristocrat’s Plarium business. This will bring together Plarium’s best-in-class game development infrastructure and marketing expertise with Futureplay’s outstanding casual mobile capabilities enabling Plarium to expand and diversify their portfolio (which includes the global sensation RAID: Shadow Legends).
- Given talent opportunities in the region, Aristocrat has established a further Helsinkibased studio, Northern Stars. Northern Stars will focus on the emerging hybrid casual genre under the world-class game development and studio leaders, Minwoo Lee (ex EA, Rovio, Ubisoft) and Antti Nikander (ex Rovio). Minwoo and Antti bring a wealth of experience to the Group, which will help us grow Aristocrat’s presence in Finland and further expand our game development capabilities.
- Aristocrat has acquired Playsoft, the Gdańsk (Poland) based mobile gaming studio specialising in the social casino genre. Playsoft has a 13+ year track record of developing more than 50 successful game titles for third party partners. Playsoft will operate within the Product Madness business, and continue to be led by its impressive founders Nicolas Bensignor and Pierre Olivier Monteil. The studio will help accelerate Product Madness’s pipeline and deliver innovation, while establishing a strong footprint for the company in another strategic European location.
Aristocrat Digital’s CEO, Michael Lang, said “These deals are consistent with Aristocrat’s successful strategy of bringing more world-class game development talent and capability into the organisation to expand our game pipeline and sustain our strong growth momentum in
“We are thrilled to welcome Futureplay, Northern Stars and Playsoft to the Aristocrat Digital family, given their impressive track records in game development, creativity and innovation. Coupled with Aristocrat Digital’s ambitious strategy, global scale, marketing and investment
capabilities, we look forward to helping our new colleagues reach new heights as part of Aristocrat.”
“We will continue to be active in pursuing global talent and studio deals that accelerate our growth strategy, alongside our sustained proven focus in driving organic growth and abovemarket results” Mr Lang concluded.
About Aristocrat Digital
Aristocrat Digital is the digital, social free-to-play games business of Aristocrat Leisure Ltd (ASX: ALL). Aristocrat Digital has ~2,300 employees globally in over 14 locations. Aristocrat Digital has a high quality and diversified portfolio of successful game titles spanning social casino, mid core, strategy, role play games, action and key casual genres. Aristocrat Digital is comprised of three major operating businesses in Plarium Global (Israel), Product Madness (UK) and Big Fish Games (US), boasting world-leading creative talent, live ops and marketing capability and a strong commitment to investment in innovation and growth.
Futureplay was founded in early 2015 by a team of five Finnish gaming veterans who shared a vision to transform the way mobile games are played around the world. Based in Helsinki, the company has released six titles that have been played by 140 million people worldwide. Futureplay focuses on creating beautifully designed, approachable, and easy-to-play mobile games including their idle gaming catalog Idle Farming Empire, Idle City Empire, Idle Crafting Empire and Idle Tuber Empire. Redwings’s MOCCA (Massive Online Casual Competitive Arena) game, Battlelands Royale, was the first in the battle royale genre truly made for mobile which became a global hit and was named one of Google Play’s Best Games of 2018. For more information see http://www.futureplaygames.com/
Playsoft was founded in 2004 by two gaming enthusiasts and has grown from a small mobile game developer to a leader in mobile content services. Core competencies include live operations, full game development, porting and quality assurance, along with publishing its own titles such as Blade Lords and Tour de France. With offices in Paris and Gdańsk, Playsoft’s clients include EA, Ubisoft and Nickelodeon among others. For more information see http://playsoftgames.com.