Aristocrat Leisure Ltd has taken another step ahead in its expansion strategy, signing a “number of deals” to enhance its digital game creation skills in European markets.
As a result of the agreements, Aristocrat Digital will have access to three additional studios in Northern and Eastern Europe, bolstering the company’s access to developing “top-tier” mobile game talent hubs and studio operations.
The collaborations and investments are aimed towards specific genres, particularly the casual and merge segments – both of which have been designated as “high growth” sectors – where the corporation already has a foothold. Aspire’s international “market leading position” in the social casino category has also been noted.
Strong growth momentum
Michael Lang, CEO, Aristocrat Digital 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 Digital.”
Futureplay, a Helsinki-based free-to-play mobile gaming company, Northern Stars, a new studio also based in Helsinki, and Gdask-based Playsoft, a mobile gaming studio specialising in the social casino market, are the three studios joined to Aspire’s network.
Aristocrat hopes that by combining Futureplay’s casual mobile capabilities with Plarium’s “best-in-class game development infrastructure and marketing expertise,” it will be able to diversify its portfolio. Futureplay specialises in the booming merge/match three section of the casual market.
Futureplay’s titles include Merge Gardens, Idle Farming Empire, and Battlelands Royale, and the company will be led by Jami Laes, while Minwoo Lee and Antti Nikander will be in charge of Northern Stars, which Aspire hopes to use to focus on the developing hybrid casual genre.
Lee and Nikander have both worked at the Rovio games studio, and Lee has also worked for EA and Ubisoft. Finally, under the supervision of Nicolas Bensignor and Pierre Olivier Monteil, Playsoft will operate within Aristocrat’s Product Madness business, with the goal of expediting the asset’s pipeline and innovation for the European market.
Impressive track record
Lang added: “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.”
Aristocrat’s plans for more strategic expansion and product development come after the company’s most recent financial trade report, which showed a 1 percent drop in overall revenue to AU$2.22 billion.
Lang concluded: “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 above market results.”