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Savvy Games Group has agreed to acquire mobile game publisher and developer Scopely for $4.9 billion.
The deal is the latest sign of consolidation in gaming — and mobile gaming in particular — and it further cements the push by Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games Group to expand in the game industry.
Savvy announced last September its intention to purchase a leading games publisher and the acquisition of Scopely is the realization of this goal.
The acquisition, subject to regulatory approval, strengthens Savvy’s ability to deliver new and exciting products for the global gaming community and help fulfill Scopely’s ambitions to grow and strengthen its portfolio of original and beloved brands.
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Scopely will remain an autonomous operating company under the Savvy umbrella.
Games and esports company Savvy Games Group is wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (“PIF”).
Culver City, California-based Scopely is the publisher of hit mobile games like Star Trek: Fleet Command, and it has benefited from its proximity to Hollywood entertainment companies. Other hits include Stumble Guys, Scrabble Go, Yahtzee With Buddies and more.
Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy Games Group, said, in a statement, “Scopely is one of the fastest-growing games companies today, and we have long admired their ability to build loyal, engaged player communities.”
Ward added, “At Savvy Games Group, our mission is to invest in – and grow – the global games community by inviting the best minds to join us. Under Walter and Javier’s stewardship, Scopely has proven to be an exceptional leader and will continue to revolutionize the future of games for years to come. We look forward to further accelerating the company’s ambitions and working together with their talented team of developers, designers and publishers to create innovative and exciting new products for the gaming community across the world.”
As an autonomous operating company under the Savvy umbrella, Scopely will benefit from Savvy’s long-term patient financial backing to deliver on its strategy to grow and deepen existing franchises, unlock new player audiences through innovative game experiences, and work with the best talent and studios across the industry through strategic partnerships and acquisitions, the companies said.
This acquisition will also build on Scopely’s cross-platform approach to extend its live services expertise to new segments like PC, console and other platforms.
Scopely co-CEO Walter Driver, said in a statement, “Today’s announcement marks a major milestone in the Scopely journey. Savvy Games Group shares our long-held belief that the companies who have built the deepest relationships with their players will succeed. Together, as one, we will be able to further expand the possibilities of play, continuing to develop beloved game experiences for players around the world. This transformational partnership is a great validation of the incredible talent of our entire Scopely team and will further accelerate our efforts to drive the games industry forward.”
Scopely co-CEO Javier Ferreira, also said in a statement, “As part of the Savvy Games Group portfolio, we will continue to build one of the world’s most diversified mobile-first games companies. Our technology platform, market-leading studio ecosystem and world-class team have always enabled us to stay one step ahead of the rapidly growing games industry, delivering long-lasting franchises that delight players around the world. We look forward to reimagining the future of play with Brian and the Savvy team.”
This investment further supports Savvy’s strategy to drive the growth of the global games industry through long-term strategic investments. Savvy’s investments are made to strengthen the core competencies of its partners, enabling them to focus on delivering stand-out services and experiences for their communities and creating new opportunities for progression and participation.
J.P. Morgan acted as lead financial advisor to Savvy on this transaction. Bank of America and Aream also acted as financial advisors to Savvy, and Latham and Watkins acted as legal adviser. For Scopely, Goldman Sachs acted as financial adviser; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom acted as transaction counsel; and Goodwin Procter acted as corporate counsel.
Mobile games revenues reached $92.2 billion in 2022, representing 50% of the global market, according to Newzoo. But the economic downturn and Apple’s push for user privacy over targeted advertising have slowed down mobile gaming’s growth, making consolidation more likely.
Revenue from mobile games in Saudi Arabia is expected to show an annual growth rate of over 7%, resulting in a projected market volume of $2.1 billion by 2027, according to Statista.
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