Playtika purchase points to Asia’s social casino potential

A consortium led by one of China’s leading online games companies sent ripples through the online gaming community in July, announcing it would buy Israel’s Playtika for $4.4 billion in cash. The deal is the largest transaction in the social casino industry to date, and in fact one of the largest transactions in the entire gaming industry in 2016. It also served as a wake up call as to the industry’s potential and the growing interest in Asia. “The scale of the sector has taken people a little bit by surprise,” said John Lin, managing director of Playstudios. “Historically, there was a lot of skepticism about the free-to-play model as applied to the games of chance,” he said, recalling conversations he had some years ago. “Following the Playtika acquisition, people are starting to recognize that is a very lucrative field, growing much faster than the land-based market,” he said. Playtika is a...

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