Stillfront has acquired Altigi, the company behind mobile strategy game developer Goodgame Studios, in a deal worth €270 million. Under the terms, Hamburg-based Goodgame, which is significantly larger than Stillfront, will receive €231 million in the form of newly issued Stillfront shares. This will turn the company's founders, brothers Kai and Christian Wawrzinek, into major shareholders in their acquirer; the remaining €39 million will be paid in cash.
Through the first nine months of 2017, Stillfront earned €11.3 million, while Goodgame earned north of €71 million during the same period. Stillfront estimates the company behind games such as 'Big Farm' and 'Legends of Honor' will contribute up to €130 million in revenues for the combined entity in 2018.
The deal will add to a list of gaming transactions in 2017 that have been worth millions, yet one might think that it will not be able to move the dial significantly after this year beheld a
dramatic fall in global M&A activity in the entertainment software universe. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals an increasingly robust European environment for dealmaking.
The continent has been home to 41.3% of all deals in the sector, per the PitchBook Platform—matching the US for the first time in at least the past decade.
Entertainment software M&A deals by region
The rebound is impressive particularly given one notable abandoned deal, as Tencent was reportedly in the running to make a bid for 'Angry Birds' maker Rovio before the developer
opted for an IPO valuing the company at $1 billion.
And the figures don't just speak to a US slowdown either. A recent
Atomico report highlighted the opportunity for European gaming companies to attack the Chinese market as well. Indeed, the same paper cited research company App Annie saying that there are more mobile game publishing businesses in Europe than anywhere else in the world. While some might say it's edging closer to 'game over' elsewhere, it could well be Europe's turn to level up.