Voodoo acquires mobile game studio Gumbug in London as it exploits hypercasual growth

Voodoo Games Game-Consultant.com

Voodoo pioneered “hypercasual mobile games,” or those that can be casually played in a matter of minutes or seconds. And now it is using the money from its growth to acquire Gumbug, a London-based mobile game studio.

Voodoo said it has become the No. 1 mobile game publisher, with more than 300 million monthly active users. Its success in mobile games has gone unnoticed in some ways, as it is the maker of mobile games such as Helix Jump, Baseball Boy, Snake vs Block, Hole.io, Aquapark.io, and Purple Diver. These aren’t household names, but they have been very lucrative for Paris-based Voodoo, which has reached more than a billion players and 2.6 billion downloads since 2013.

The companies didn’t disclose the purchase price. Alexandre Yazdi, CEO of Voodoo, said in an interview with GamesBeat that his company is profitable. His company raised a lot of eyebrows when it raised an estimated $200 million from Goldman Sachs in May 2018. Before that, many people had not heard of Voodoo.

“Hypercasual games are usually focused on the core gameplay,” Yazdi said. “In casual games, you may have a meta game. With hypercasual, the core game is really intense and interesting. To me, this is the real difference. The hypercasual game is very pure in that there is no monetization mechanic in the way of the pure gameplay. To be honest, at the beginning, we were not aware we were doing hypercasual games. We were just thinking about great content we wanted to do.”

With Gumbug, Voodoo gets a foothold in a studio in Shoreditch, London. This new move comes after a series of new office openings from
Voodoo, expanding outside of their Paris Headquarters to new territories, including Berlin, Istanbul and Montreal.

“We detected a really great team here, and we believe it has much more potential,” Yazdi said.

The new studio will augment Voodoo’s ability to produce chart-topping mobile titles, combining the team’s experience in developing high-quality games, supported by Voodoo’s publishing expertise and industry-leading services and tools.

Simon Hill, Ignacio Garmendia, and Ross McCaughey founded Gumbug in 2013 with the aim of creating engaging lifestyle games that are hard to put down. With experience from working at studios such as Space Ape and Mind Candy, the leaders bring with them years of top industry experience. The studio’s flagship title, Smash Supreme, propelled the studio to success. The studio has 15 employees, and it may grow to around 20 to 25 people, Yazdi said.

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Published by Reinout te Brake

Reinout is a games investor and strategic business consultant specializing in the games industry. Reinout established his credentials through his own successful investments, start-ups, consulting and (advisory) board positions that led through time to strong bonds with key stakeholders in this fast paced industry. He is known for his outstanding results in the gaming industry. He has worked with many game studios around the globe and is therefore well known in the international gaming industry. Check out his games podcast; https://www.game-consultant.com

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