Online gambling giant 888 acquired the assets of American-Israeli casual game studio Mytopia from Real Dice, Mytopia’s parent company. According to VentureBeat Games, the deal is estimated at $18 million, but could reach up to $48 million if Mytopia’s assets hits certain revenue milestones by 2011. Mytopia was funded by SK telecom ventures Innovation Fund, Benhamou Global Ventures and private investors.
Launched in 2008 by brother and sister Guy and Galia Ben Artzi, Mytopia offered a casual games community, where users can play against each other in real time. In recent months, Mytopia changed its focus and began offering Particle Code, a cross-platform application development framework for mobile devices and tablets.
The acquisition is a concerted effort for 888 to enter the huge casual game on mobile devices market by applying some its monetization and distribution abilities. In the official release, Gigi Levy, 888’s CEO, said:
“This is a very exciting deal for 888, and builds on our aim of providing a variety of entertainment destinations where people can enjoy a truly interactive experience on a multitude of platforms. Mytopia is one of the leading publishers of cross-platform social-games and this acquisition gives us an immediate footprint in the fast-growing social gaming arena, complementing our core offering and giving us access to millions of customers.
Improvements in mobile technology now mean more people are comfortable using applications on the move, and we expect significant growth in this area. The acquisition extends 888’s reach and market share in the fast growing social networks and smart mobile devices, such as iPhone and Android powered handsets, and leaves us well positioned to take advantage of this growth.”
After its online casino, Poker and Bingo business saw a collective decline of 13% in revenue and took a hit in the number of unique players, Triple eight issued a profit warning for 2010 and saw its stock decline by 18%. A month later, Calcalist broke the news that 888 let go 15% of its work force of over 1,000 worldwide, with approximately half in its development center in Herzliya, Israel.
888 Holdings is a publicly traded company in the London Stock Exchange (LSE:888). Following the acqusition announcement, 888’s share price rose 1.5% by midday in London today to ?0.50, giving a market cap of ?174 million, reports Globes.