Interview: Why PlayTech acquired YoYo Games and what it means for devs - MCV

Interview: Why PlayTech acquired YoYo Games and what it means for devs

GameMaker 2.0 expected to launch later this year
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Yesterday online gaming and sports betting software firm PlayTech acquired YoYo Games for £10.65m, a fee which could go up depending on performance. Following the deal, CEO of the GameMaker tools firm Sandy Duncan also departed the firm.

To find out more about the deal, we spoke to a spokesperson at the company on how it will affect the popular tool's future and the developers using it.

What was the thinking behind the acquisition of YoYo Games for £10m? What is its main value to the PlayTech business?
The acquisition of YoYo is part of PlayTech’s strategy to penetrate the casual gaming space, which already includes Plamee – an internal games development team employing more than 120 casual games developers with extensive knowledge and a proven track record in the development of casual games, which was established in early 2014.

PlayTech’s directors believe that the continued development of YoYo’s GameMaker: Studio technology within the company will enable it to extend beyond the current games developers base, and will fit well with its in-house casual team, extending its expertise and know-how in the development of casual games, marketing systems and related infrastructure. This acquisition will enable PlayTech to further diversify its business, benefiting from a combined B2B/B2C offering focused on a strong and growing segment of the wider gaming market.

Will video games developers still have access to GameMaker in future? And will they continue to get support on any dev issues?
Nothing will change on that front or any for that matter. We will continue to cater for and build on the loyal community GameMaker and YoYo have developed, as well as investing more resources into improving and making the system faster, more efficient, user-friendly and appeal to a wider professional games developer audience.

Will licencing options of the engine change at all? And if so, how?
YoYo is constantly exploring new licensing models and are unlikely to make large-scale changes, therefore we are looking at ways in which we can expand and introduce other options in the medium to long-term.

Will the development roadmap of GameMaker change at all in the short and long-term?
PlayTech will add more resource and we’re working closely with the existing team to add several new features that will extend GM’s capabilities. The wider plan is Gamemaker 2.0. This is under development and will be completed later this year.

Do you plan to add your other tools / services into the mix?
We are planning to integrate some of PlayTech’s existing services, however we can’t be specific at this stage.

Will video games across all platforms remain a focus for YoYo Games and GameMaker?
Yes.

There are concerns by games developers about PlayTech's intentions for GameMaker following the acquisition. Is there anything else you'd like to say to alleviate their concerns about support, availability and the long-term future of the engine?
We will invest more resource, work alongside our in-house Plamee team and examine ways to expand the business and our casual games portfolio. Much of the gaming community has grown up using GM and we will continue to improve the platform and build on YoYo’s impressive work to date.

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