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MTG acquires Indian word game studio PlaySimple for $360 million

There's also a $150 million earn-out

Date Type Companies involved Size
July 2nd, 2021 acquisition Modern Times Group
PlaySimple
$360m
MTG acquires Indian word game studio PlaySimple for $360 million

Swedish gaming and esports outfit Modern Times Group (MTG) has acquired Indian word games developer PlaySimple for around $360 million (SEK 3.1 billion).

MTG expects to pay 77 per cent of the price in cash and 23 per cent in shares but this split will be resolved via an EGM vote. The deal also has a potential earn-out of up to $150 million based on future performance.

PlaySimple's revenues grew 144 per cent in 2020 to $83 million, with EBITDA of $18 million. It predicts sales of over $60 million in the first half of 2021, with EBITDA up 140 per cent.

PlaySimple was founded in 2014 by brothers Siddharth Jain and Siddhanth Jain, with fellow co-founders Preeti Reddy and Suraj Nalin. The management team previously worked for Zynga's Indian division. It currently has 215 employees.

The company's portfolio of games - such as Daily Themed Crossword, Word Trip, Word Jam and Word Wars - have amassed 75 million downloads and 1.9 million daily active users. It has four new products in development.

Building out the portfolio

MTG has acquired a number of mobile-focused game companies in recent years including InnoGames, Hutch Games (for up to $375 million), Kongregate (for $55 million) and Ninja Kiwi (for $142 million).

Off the back of six million DAUs and 30 million MAUs, MTG's overall game revenues were around $514 million in 2020, rising to $135 million in Q1 2021.

"We’re very happy to welcome PlaySimple to our family of gaming companies. PlaySimple is a rapidly growing and highly profitable games studio that quickly has established itself as one of the leading global developers of free-to-play word games, an exciting new genre for MTG," commented MTG CEO Maria Redin.

"Acquisitions are a strategic part of our value creation story. Through the acquisitions of Hutch, Ninja Kiwi and now PlaySimple, MTG has built a highly attractive games portfolio that is significantly more diversified in terms of genres, audiences, and revenues, which provides improved visibility, stability and opportunities."

 

We previously spoke to Ninja Kiwi co-founders Chris and Stephen Harris and to Hutch CEO Shaun Rutland about why they decided to sell their studios to MTG. 

Meanwhile, the Indian market is continuing to grow apace with esports platform Loco raising $9 million


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Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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