Special Report: The deal gives ICI a direct footprint in hyper-casual games — one of the fastest-growing segments in the global mobile games market.The deal gives ICI a direct footprint in hyper-casual games — one of the fastest-growing segments in the global mobile games market.

Games development company iCandy Interactive (ASX:ICI) has gotten on the M&A trail, announcing a key strategic acquisition this morning.

The company has signed a deal to acquire Singapore-based developer Nextgamer.io, a games platform that specialises in the hyper-casual genre – short games in the mobile category that are simpler to play and master.

The strategic acquisition will give ICI a direct market footprint in the hyper-casual category – one of the fastest growing segments globally in the multi-billion dollar mobile gaming sector.

Investors took note of the announcement as shares in ICI rose by around two per cent in morning trade, amid a broader decline on the ASX200.

Nextgamer’s speciality is in building games that take no longer than two or three minutes to play per session, with functionality for web-based and app-based mobile platforms.

The company’s game design is derived from the global success of short-video app Tik Tok, with its brand positioning in the market as the “Tik Tok of mobile games”, ICI said.

In addition, Nextgamers’ competitive gaming engine will automatically match gamers online, to further drive engagement for its range of games that are defined by quick and easy gameplay.

iCandy will also leverage its own intellectual property to drive the rollout of new hyper-casual games, building on its existing library portfolio of over 300 games.

With its extensive experience in mobile gaming, iCandy can also “market Nextgamer’s games to our large audience of mobile gamers internationally”, ICI chairman Kin W. Lau said.

Through its traction in the hyper-casual market, Nextgamer will generate revenues for the group through advertising and in-app purchases.

Total consideration for the deal is $1.29m, in a cash and share-based transaction iCandy will fund through a $900,000 cash payment and the issuance of 3m ICI shares priced at 13c per share.

We are really excited at the prospect of hyper-casual gaming, and Nextgamer has a unique proposition that offers very short game sessions to mobile gamers on-the-go, via a casual competitive gaming environment,” Kin said.

As a gauge of the potential market opportunity in hyper-casual games, ICI flagged the recent acquisition of games developer Rollic by Zynga in a $US168m deal.

Global gaming and technology giant Tencent also made a recent investment in the space, acquiring a 10 per cent stake in hyper-casual developer Voodoo Games in a deal which valued the company at $1.4bn.

This article was developed in collaboration with iCandy Interactive, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.