MAG INTERACTIVE ACCELERATES ITS AMBITIONS, ACQUIRING UK STUDIO DELINQUENT

MAG Interactive (WWW.MAGINTERACTIVE.COM) a Swedish mobile games studio, announced today the acquisition of Delinquent Interactive (WWW.WEAREDELINQUENT.COM), a Brighton based studio founded by industry veterans from PopCap, Relentless and Media Molecule forming together a world class talent team.

The acquisition further establishes MAG as a leader in casual free-to-play games. Already the global leader in word games, the acquisition broadens the MAG portfolio of IP, as well as establishes a UK team for the ambitious studio.

“MAG have released a number of successful titles. We know what it takes to develop, launch and continuously support a hit game. We’re building durable and scalable franchises that last for years. In Delinquent we have found a talented studio that fits perfectly with our values and the MAG way of working. Finding such an exceptional group of people speeds up our growth in a fantastic way and I am very excited to welcome them to join our team.” says Daniel Hasselberg, MAG Interactive’s Co-Founder and CEO.

MAG has been an early investor in Delinquent and the two studios have been working together for 6 months. The acquisition follows a long period of sustained profitability for MAG across a growing roster of IP.

“MAG has never been a silent investor. They have been very active, supportive and incredibly valuable to have around. Launching our first game, Potion Pop, as part of the MAG umbrella will give us immediate reach to over 75 million users as well as much bigger resources in terms of marketing and distribution. Working with them over the past months has made us realise that we both value teams with a high level of independence and we have the same approach to making games. It just seems natural to be one big team. We are thrilled to be part of the MAG family and excited about what’s to come.” Says David Amor, Delinquent Co-Founder.

The first game of MAG’s UK studio will be Potion Pop, a match three game with which MAG will enter a new games category. The acquisition takes the total headcount of MAG Interactive to 50 people, with several open positions in both the new UK and existing Stockholm studios.

About Delinquent – WWW.WEAREDELINQUENT.COM

Delinquent was founded in 2014 by David Bishop, David Amor and Chris Lee. All industry veterans from PopCap, Mind Candy, Relentless, EA, Activision and Media Molecule. They are behind such hits as Bejeweled, Plants vs Zombies and Buzz!

About MAG Interactive – WWW.MAGINTERACTIVE.COM

MAG Interactive is an independent mobile gaming studio with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden.

With over 75 million downloads and titles in the top grossing charts MAG has positioned itself as a leading global mobile games studio in terms of both revenue and quality; two of its titles have been listed in Apple’s yearly Best Games of the App Store list. Ruzzle, Ruzzle Adventure and WordBrain have all found their way to the number one position in the word category on App Stores all around the world.
In 2014, MAG Interactive won TNW Europe’s Tech 5 start-up competition and was listed as one of Europe’s hottest start-ups by Wired UK.

A Q&A with Daniel Hasselberg (CEO, MAG Interactive) and David Bishop (CCO of Delinquent Interactive)

Hasselberg: MAG have a very strong culture. We put a lot of faith in the individuals that make up our company. We are also an extremely ambitious company and believe we can grow our reach in the casual free-to-play market significantly over the next few years. For all of these reasons, Delinquent was a perfect fit. They have the same approach, where exceptional people are empowered to deliver world-class games. They are also hugely ambitious and share our view that we can disrupt the market and, with the roster of products we collectively have planned, we can scale a very significant business together.

What will the deal mean in practise?

Bishop: We’ve spent a lot of time in each other’s studios, sharing ideas, playing builds of each other’s games and working on tech/tools/data and user acquisition projects and challenges together. The acquisition will result in more of the same.

What’s next for MAG?

Hasselberg: With this acquisition we will be able to launch new games more frequently and in new categories. Additionally we will keep strengthening the Ruzzle franchise as well as building a new great franchise around Potion Pop.

What can we expect beyond Potion Pop?

Bishop: To be honest, all of the Delinquent team are focussed on the worldwide launch and scheduled rollout of updates during live ops. We’ve seen a great reaction to the game in soft-launch and have been thrilled with the metrics. We’re excited to have more people around the world playing the game and giving us feedback. We obviously have some exciting ideas for the future, both for Potion Pop as a franchise and also new IP. More on that another time!

MAG INTERACTIVE INVESTS IN NEW UK STUDIO

MAG Interactive (WWW.MAGINTERACTIVE.COM) today announced a strategic investment in new UK-based studio, Delinquent (WWW.WEAREDELINQUENT.COM): a move designed to widen its footprint in casual mobile gaming, through collaboration with world-class talent. Following the enormous success of their franchise Ruzzle, MAG Interactive is now expanding its strategic reach and competitive advantage.

Delinquent, based in Brighton, is home to a 12-person team. The leadership of the studio hails from PopCap, EA, Mind Candy, Relentless and Activision and includes senior experience on titles such as Peggle, Bejeweled and Plants vs Zombies.

“There’s a strong fit between the culture of our studios,” explained Daniel Hasselberg, CEO and co-founder of MAG Interactive. “Our plan is to individually and collectively disrupt some of the established genres in casual free-to-play. Delinquent pitched us on their ambition to add genuine innovation into game genres we know and love. After spending time with the team and playing early builds of what they’re producing, we believe they can truly do that.” he added. “The ongoing success of our franchise, Ruzzle, and its expansion Ruzzle Adventure has given our team an enormous amount of experience developing, publishing and growing games. We believe that sharing our expertise with a trusted and strategic partner will enable both studios to build more hits with even greater potential.”

David Bishop, CCO and Co-Founder at Delinquent added, “I’ve been fortunate to be making games for over 30 years. Every so often you find yourself part of a team that can make magic happen. We had that experience at PopCap and I wanted to re-create that feeling within Delinquent. We’ve been incredibly focused on securing and gelling the worlds best talent and have assembled a team that are now ready to cause some serious trouble. MAG Interactive felt like the final missing-link. A studio who have “been-there, done-that and have the t-shirt.” added Bishop. “The alignment with Daniel and his team not only provides investment, but the beginning of a relationship we plan to build upon for the future.”

Hasselberg will join the board of Delinquent, who are due to release their first title in Q1 2015.

About MAG Interactive – WWW.MAGINTERACTIVE.COM

MAG Interactive is an independent Swedish gaming studio that taps into the universal appeal of casual games. Based in Stockholm, MAG Interactive focuses on the social and competitive elements of mobile gaming: challenging and engaging millions of users from all over the world.

MAG Interactive is best-known for its first game, Ruzzle, which launched in March 2012, and quickly became the fastest-growing word game in the history of the App Store. The app has exceeded 50 million downloads, and more than 20 billion rounds of Ruzzle have been played across the world.

In 2014, MAG Interactive won TNW Europe 2014’s Tech 5 start-up competition, as well as being listed as one of Europe’s hottest start-ups by Wired UK. In November 2013, MAG Interactive secured a $6 million funding round, led by Nokia Growth Partners. In May 2014, MAG Interactive also announced a partnership with High Noon Entertainment that will see the Ruzzle series developed and expanded into a format designed for broadcast and cable networks.

About Delinquent – WWW.WEAREDELINQUENT.COM

Delinquent is a new interactive entertainment studio, based in Brighton. Co-Founded by industry veterans from PopCap, Mind Candy, Relentless, EA, Activision and Media Molecule, the team are focussed on disrupting the mobile games establishment.

The company was founded in 2014, by proven leadership and world-class development talent. The team have a love for mobile and a passion to entertain. We’re building an engaged community of fans across ground-breaking free-to-play titles.