What’s the world’s most popular gaming device? Nintendo’s Switch? Microsoft’s Xbox? Sony’s Playstation?

In fact it’s the humble mobile phone. Phones and tablets now account for the biggest slice — 42 per cent — of the $US110 billion gaming market.

By 2020, mobile devices will grow to more than half of the total games market, predicts mobile games researcher Newzoo.

Mobile game developer SuperCell raked in a $1 billion profit last year from just four games including the ubiquitous Clash of Clans.

ASX-listed mobile gamer iCandy interactive (ASX:ICI) has its eyes firmly set on that market, announcing on Wednesday the $5 million acquisition of 318 mobile titles from Animoca Brands (ASX:AB1) to add to its growing portfolio.

ICI remains in a trading halt pending a further announcement — its shares last traded at 16c, valuing the company at $12 million. The sale bumped Animoca’s share price up 25 per cent to 1.5c.

Screen shots from AB1's Clumsy Golf.
Clumsy Golf … one of 318 mobile games acquired this week by iCandy.

The 318 games are mainly in the ‘casual gaming’ segment — titles that have simple rules and reduced demands on time that can be picked up “every now and again”.

The portfolio includes titles such as ‘Gotta Eat them All’, ‘Chocolate Rain Stickers’ and ‘Clumsy Golf’.

iCandy say the new titles will get a boost from its game studios in Southeast Asia which provide access to a large pool of design and innovation talent.

iCandy’s games now reach about 23 million gamers. The extra 318 games should grow that number to as many as 348 million, making it “one of the most powerful gaming communities internationally”, iCandy said.

“This will represent a major milestone for ICI in our strategic plan to become a leading international mobile games and entertainment group,” chairman Kin-Wai Lau said.

The Asia Pacific region is the most popular region for mobile gaming, with over 70 per cent of local internet users playing games on smartphones.

“The combined game portfolio will entirely transform our publishing capability and will have a very positive impact on our existing business and the publishing partnership with the Nitro project announced earlier,” Mr Lau said.

Nitro is a crowd-sourced mobile gaming marketplace for which iCandy is developing games.

Animoca say it will retain more than 200 games, focussing on those that are family or fitness focussed or based on their partnership with toy brand Mattel.