Playtika Acquires Israel's Jelly Button to Expand Game Offerings

  • Deal is worth tens of millions of dollars, Playtika CFO says
  • Acquisition is Playtika’s first step outside core market

Chinese-owned social casino-game company Playtika Ltd. said it had agreed to acquire Israel’s Jelly Button Games Ltd., looking to expand its offerings into the casual-game space.

Playtika Chief Financial Officer Arik Sandler said the deal was worth “tens of millions” of dollars, but declined to give a more specific number. Tel Aviv-based Jelly Button has launched two casual games that have been downloaded more than 80 million times.

“Since our first acquisition in 2012, Playtika has been successful at identifying promising products and teams and leveraging our marketing, monetization, and analytics capabilities to materially grow our acquired businesses,” Robert Antokol, chief executive officer and co-founder of Playtika, said in a press release Monday.

Operating scale and capital, as well as access to technology and intellectual property, are enabling large online-game developers to succeed, according to a recent report by Bloomberg Intelligence. A year ago, Caesars Interactive Entertainment sold Playtika to Shanghai Giant Network Technology Co. for $4.4 billion.

Jelly Button’s casual games include Pirate Kings, where players become pirates who conquer islands in search of gold, artifacts and revenge; and Board Kings, an online board game in which users build a city and protect it from strangers.

Israel-based Playtika described the Jelly Button acquisition as an important part of its vision to become the world’s leading mobile-gaming company. Jelly Button’s casual games represent Playtika’s first venture outside its core market of casino-themed games, the company said. Playtika previously acquired Bingo Blitz, World Series of Poker and House of Fun.

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