Rockstar and 2K Games parent company Take-Two has made a sizeable investment in its mobile strategy.
The firm has acquired Barcelona-based mobile developer Social Point for $250m (£197.7m). That amount is comprised of $175m (£138.42m) in cash, as well as roughly $75m (£59.3m) in shares.
Founded in 2008, Social Point has been behind free-to-play titles, such as Dragon City and Monster Legends. The release says that the studio has a ‘robust development pipeline’ of titles. 90 per cent of its revenue comes from mobile platforms. 50 per cent of the firm's revenue comes from the US.
Previously, Take-Two has made moves into the mobile market, but these have historically been support or companion apps for its console and PC IP, including NBA 2K and WWE.
Speaking to MCV in November 2015, Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick said that releasing standalone mobile experiences “is not really our strategy”, due to the fact that the number of truly successful titles in this sector is very low.
That Social Point has a number of successful titles is a factor in Take-Two’s thinking with this deal.
"With the acquisition of Social Point, Take-Two has further diversified its business, expanded its portfolio of owned intellectual property, and significantly enhanced its position in the fast-growing free-to-play mobile gaming space," said Zelnick.
"The experienced team at Social Point shares our commitment to delighting consumers with high-quality entertainment, and we believe that Social Point's deeply-engaging mobile offerings will be a perfect complement to our business. Social Point is one of the few mobile game developers that has a proven track record of growing revenues and delivering multiple hits, and we expect this growth to continue given the company's exciting development pipeline. We are fortunate to have acquired Social Point in a transaction that is expected to be immediately accretive to net cash provided by operating activities, and to be accretive to net income per share, excluding transaction costs and amortisation of intangible assets, in fiscal 2018."
Social Point CEOs and founders Horacio Martos and Andrés Bou added: "Take-Two is one of the interactive entertainment industry's premier publishers, whose labels are renowned throughout the world for their ability to create some of the most successful and beloved entertainment experiences on consoles and PC. We are thrilled to have Social Point become part of an organisation that shares our commitment to quality and innovation, and we look forward to being part of Take-Two's continued success for many years to come."