In its first acquisition since going public in March, Mumbai-headquartered gaming and esports media company Nazara Technologies on Thursday announced it is buying 69.82% stake in Turkish game publishing company, Arrakis Tanitim Organizasyon Pazarlama San. Tic. Ltd. Sti., also known as Publishme.
The majority stake acquisition, valued at Rs 20 crore, will be done through primary and secondary transactions within a three-month period by Nazara’s subsidiary, said a statement issued by the company.
The acquisition will help the company enter the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions in the freemium games segment. It will also build local execution capabilities in key segments including freemium, gamified learning and esports.
Incorporated in 2018, Publishme is a full-service games marketing and publishing agency working with game publishers in Turkey and MENA regions. Headed by former publishing head of emerging markets for EPIC Games, Özgür Özalp, Publishme’s clients include Garena, My.Games and Lokum Games.
“MENA is a key geography for us and this acquisition will help us in establishing ourselves as a key player in the region. We are excited to have someone with deep regional knowledge and capabilities like Özgür and his team join the ‘Friends of Nazara’ network,” Nitish Mittersain, founder and joint managing director at Nazara, said.
The Friends of Nazara network houses companies in which Nazara holds majority stakes including NODWIN Gaming, SportsKeeda, Next Wave Multimedia and Paper Boat Apps.
In May, founder of Miles Software, Milan Ganatara, acquired a minority stake in Nazara Technologies backed fantasy sports company, HalaPlay.
Nazara Technologies reported net profit of Rs 4.2 crore for the quarter ending March 31, 2021 with a 41.7% increase in year-on-year revenues.
With people under 24 years making close to half of the population, the MENA region is seen as a major upcoming gaming market. According to a PwC report, video games revenue will increase by 8.1% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) in MENA between 2019 and 2024 to an estimated $4.1bn, higher than the global increase of 6.4% CAGR.
Interactive entertainment giant Zynga has made at least four investments in Turkey’s growing gaming sector, including paying $1.8 billion for Istanbul based Peak Games. In late 2020, it announced that it has bought an 80% stake in another company Rollic, which publishes hyper-casual games.