Korean gaming giant Netmarble buys Hong Kong casino app to continue global expansion


Netmarble has agreed to buy Hong Kong-based social casino gaming company SpinX Games for $ 2.19 billion in a deal that will expand the South Korean gaming giant’s business outside its home market. against a backdrop of increased gaming during the pandemic.

The Seoul-based company said the deal would allow it to “continue its global expansion by adding a new genre of games to the current extensive roster.”

“Netmarble is already a very large company,” says Sean Su, an independent technology consultant in Taiwan. “The reason I think they would buy SpinX is because gaming in Asia is a huge market, not just Hong Kong. It makes sense that they would buy SpinX because it’s a great revenue generator.”

Founded in 2014, SpinX games include Cash Frenzy, Lotsa Slots, and Jackpot World. “The social casino genre shows continued global growth and we are very pleased to enter into a share purchase agreement with SpinX Games, one of the leading companies in the genre,” said Lee Seung-won, CEO of Netmarble. , in the press release.

SpinX is growing rapidly, notes Chris Marshall, associate vice president of IDC Asia Pacific. Netmarble bought the company with the aim of expanding beyond the competitive Korean domestic market, Marshall adds. “NetMarble faces stiff competition from South Korea, a country that dominates the mobile gaming industry in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

“We believe NetMarble needs to strengthen its global presence and diversify its capabilities to remain competitive,” says Marshall. “Acquiring SpinX is one way to do this,” he says. “This acquisition allows Netmarble not only to expand its offering in different genres, but also allows them to expand their global reach.”

Analysts expect more reconciliations in the gaming industry as the world’s biggest brands attempt to capture an internationalized market that grows due to gaming in the era of the pandemic. In a recent case, Chinese company Tencent announced that it would acquire British video game developer Sumo. Social game developer Zynga and digital entertainment company Electronic Arts have also announced deals to acquire other companies.

According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, the global gaming market is expected to reach $ 250 billion by 2025, up from $ 150 billion last year. Monthly active mobile game users in Asia are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.9% this year through 2025, according to IDC forecasts.

“The boom in the gaming industry has led to an increase in mergers and acquisitions,” said Marshall, anticipating more mergers, acquisitions and high-value initial public offerings over the next four years.

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