Israel-based Playtika, one of the biggest players in the digital gaming market, is reasserting its dominance with the acquisition of Big Blue Parrot (BBP), a company behind the successful app Poker Friends. The amount was undisclosed, though it is likely not too small a price for Playtika to maintain its marketshare. Co-founder and CEO Robert Antokol called it the fifth successful major acquisition for his company in a few short years.
“Gilad Almog, BBP’s founder, together with his team, will enable us to continue expanding our reach in the global market and moreover to hold onto our position in Israel as the leader of the gaming industry,” said Antokol, who takes pains to highlight the fact his company is not a gambling company, in a statement.
Going further, Antokol saw it as a major step forward in strengthening the Israeli end of the market.
“As a large web-based company in Israel, Playtika sees itself as supporting the overall goals of the local industry by giving opportunity to local entrepreneurs and innovators in the field.” Founded in 2009 in Tel Aviv, Big Blue Parrot is a fellow Israeli gaming company.
How this will affect Playtika
Playtika was bought by Caesars Interactive Entertainment in 2011, a year after Playtika’s founding. Caesars is still waiting for online betting to become legal, but in the meantime claims to have tripled its investment to over $300 million simply by people paying for add-ons to their “freemium” game services.
Its chief competitors, King Digital Entertainment and Zynga, are the respective creators of Candy Crush and FarmVille. As of 2014, Playtika counted 700 staff. BBP will add nine staff, who will continue to work out of their office in Tel Aviv, to Playtika’s team.