iCandy Interactive shoulders into growing hyper-casual gaming segment with Nextgamer acquisition

iCandy Interactive ASX ICI NextGamer mobile gaming platform
The hyper-casual gaming genre is among the fastest growing mobile gaming segments, with Zynga recently acquiring hyper-casual game developer Rollic for US$168 million.

After posting a maiden EBIDTA positive 2020, iCandy Interactive (ASX: ICI) has announced it will acquire Singapore-based and hyper-casual mobile gaming developer and platform Nextgamer.

According to iCandy, Nextgamer is developing a competitive platform and games based on the emerging new hyper-casual genre.

iCandy noted hyper-casual games are a growing trend in the mobile gaming industry, with the emerging genre referring to games that are “very easy to play” and can be played in a “very short time frame”.

Nextgamer’s games under development can be played in two-to-three minutes per session.

The hyper-casual genre builds on the short session trend that has been propagated by video app Tik Tok.

As part of this, Nextgamer’s platform positions its technology as akin to the “Tik Tok of mobile games”.

Acquisition rationale and terms

iCandy anticipates Nextgamer’s business model will mirror its own and generate income through in-game purchases and advertising.

Nextgamer’s platform is developed for both mobile web and app-based access and enables people to play hyper-casual games and enter casual online tournaments that are “fun” and with a “community focus”.

iCandy says Nextgamer’s gameplay will be “extremely easy to master, with almost no learning curve”.

Under the acquisition deal, iCandy will pay $1.29 million for the entire shareholding of Nextgamer. The amount payable comprises $900,000 in cash and 3 million of iCandy shares at $0.13 each.

iCandy chairman Kin Lau said the company was “really excited” about entering the hyper-casual gaming field.

“Nextgamer has a unique proposition that offers very short game sessions on the go to mobile gamers via a casual competitive gaming environment.”

“iCandy has extensive expertise in casual mobile games and we can market Nextgamer’s games to our large audience of mobile gamers internationally,” he added.

Hyper-casual gaming market

iCandy says hyper-casual games are one of the fastest growing trends in the mobile gaming market, with large players such as Zynga recently moving to secure a foothold in the segment.

Zynga has acquired hyper-casual game developer Rollic for US$168 million, while Tencent has scooped up minority stake for an undisclosed sum in US$1.4 billion Voodoo Games.

Pocketgamer.biz noted the hyper-casual game segment achieved the most downloads in the first half of 2020.

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