SciPlay Acquires Mobile Games Developer Alictus

Posted on: March 2, 2022, 01:54h. 

Last updated on: March 2, 2022, 02:27h.

Social casino developer SciPlay Corp. (NASDAQ:SCPL) is bolstering its lineup of mobile game offerings through the acquisition of Alictus, a Turkish creator of casual games.

SciPlay bid
A slide from a 2019 SciPlay investor deck. The company is buying a Turkish rival. (Image: Seeking Alpha)

Under the terms of the deal, Las Vegas-based SciPlay is paying $100 million in cash for 80 percent of the Ankara-based company. It can acquire the remaining 20% over the next five years in equal installments of up to $200 million combined, assuming certain profitability and sales objectives are met.

Since 2019, Alictus has developed and published a portfolio of top-ranked games that have generated more than 300 million total downloads to date,” according to a SciPlay statement. “Many of Alictus’s games have achieved #1 Free Game in the iOS U.S. App Store, including Candy Challenge 3D, Rob Master 3D, Deep Clean Inc., Oh God!, Money Buster!, and Collect Cubes.

Formerly the social gaming division of Scientific Games, SciPlay was spun off from that company in 2019. SciPlay’s well-known offerings are Jackpot Party, Quick Hit Slots, Gold Fish Casino Slots, Hot Shot Casino, 88 Fortunes, Bingo Showdown, and Monopoly Slots. The games are free to play, but feature in-app purchases.

SciPlay Investors Cheer Deal

SciPlay shareholders appear to be in favor of the Alictus acquisition, as highlighted by a 5.73% gain today for the buyer’s stock, which trims the year-to-date loss to 12.55%.

One reason SciPlay investors may be positive on the deal is that the target is profitable — a trait more investors are prioritizing when it comes to digital gaming and sports wagering equities. The acquisition also increases SciPlay’s daily active users by 1.8 million and its monthly active users by 28 million.

The suitor also diversifies its revenue stream “with Alictus’s in-app advertising platform to capitalize on the approximately $13 billion global mobile in-game advertising market,” it said in the statement.

By some estimates, games played on mobile devices will account for half of the global gaming market in revenue terms. The segment is also growing at a faster rate than the console and PC game markets.

SciPlay Makes Casual Call

With the Alictus deal, SciPlay is making a bet on casual mobile gaming — a genre that’s known for easy-to-play games designed to attract a broad audience.

Casual games are usually free to play, with developers relying on in-app purchases and in-game advertising to drive revenue.

“The powerful combination of Alictus’s hyper-casual expertise with our industry-leading live services and meta capabilities positions us to expand our market share by developing hit games with compelling game-play, driving further player engagement and enhanced revenue and profitability,” said SciPlay CEO Josh Wilson in the statement.