New Social circles

Aristocrat Leisure recently snapped up social games developer Plarium for $500 million, but what exactly is the appeal of acquiring a studio that creates strategy/ role-playing game (RPG) titles for a very different player demographic to social casino gamers? Mergers and acquisitions in the social casino space have been rife since the turn of the decade, with blockbuster deals worth hundreds of millions – even billions – of dollars becoming commonplace. But not many industry observers foresaw Sydney-listed Aristocrat Leisure’s recent takeover of Israeli-headquartered strategy and role-playing games developer Plarium. The deal includes a US$500 million upfront payment plus an earn-out arrangement, which implies a multiple of 10x LTM EBITDA at year end. Aristocrat said the purchase boosts its digital revenue contribution from 14 percent to 22 percent of its overall business and will expand its addressable market from the $3.2 billion social casino sector to the $25.4 billion strategy, RPG and...

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