SK Telecom has acquired 30% of Chinese online gaming firm Magicgrids Networks, for USD7.8m. The deal marks SK Telecom’s entry into China’s casual gaming market, following rumours of acquisition talks with three or four Chinese online games firms. The South Korean mobile carrier expects to invest a total of USD30m in Magicgrids over the next three years. It will also take part in the Shanghai firm’s management and development decisions.
SK Telecom is targeting the Chinese game market for its fast growth, saying the sector generated around USD1.17bn last year and could reach USD1.83bn by 2010. Research firm In-Stat believes the market could top USD2.1bn by 2010.
Founded in 2006, Magicgrids develops and runs web-based games including ‘Patrix’, which had a peak of 150,000 simultaneous users in Jan.