Qiiwi Games ("Qiiwi") has today entered into an agreement to acquire 63.75% of the shares in the UK-based studio Playright Digital Entertainment LTD ("Playright") (the "Transaction"). Playright focuses on the development of so-called “hyper casual” games, with a clear long-term strategy to also position themselves in the field of "hyper/hybrid casual", which means games with a deeper underlying engagement system than in current hyper casual games. Hyper casual games are today the globally dominant gaming genre in terms of the number of downloads in the mobile gaming industry and the acquisition represents a strategic broadening of Qiiwis game portfolio. The genre is defined as games that are very easy to understand and play, which in turn enables attracting a very broad target audience of users. The sellers of the business are the founders of Playright, experienced game entrepreneurs Evtim Trenkov, Kristina Trenkova and Daniel Rechter.
Summary of the transaction:
Qiiwi acquires 63.75% of the shares in Playright for a total initial purchase price of $540,000 distributed as follows:
- 46.75% of the shares are acquired by way of a $450,000 investment into Playright, to be used as funding for Playright's business over the next 24 months. This budget shall cover the capital requirements jointly assessed by Playright and Qiiwi for this period, in terms of employees and marketing.
- The remaining 17% of the shares are acquired directly from the sellers for a total of $90,000, of which 60% is paid with newly issued shares in Qiiwi ("Consideration Shares") and 40% by cash payment. The sellers have undertaken not to sell the Consideration Shares received for a period of 18 months.
- A total of 14,640 Consideration Shares are issued to the Sellers at a subscription price of SEK 32.2 per Consideration Share, which corresponds to Qiiwi’s average volume-weighted share price over the past 10 trading days. The issue of the Consideration Shares entails a dilution of 0.16 percent of existing shareholders.
- If Playright achieves an average monthly turnover, calculated over three months, exceeding $420,000 ("Revenue Target"), Qiiwi shall acquire the remaining 36.25% of the shares for $500,000. Qiiwi has the right to decide whether this payment should be paid in whole or in part with newly issued shares.
If the above Revenue Target is not reached within 24 months, Qiiwi also has an exclusive option to acquire the remaining 36.25% of the shares in Playright at the end of the period at a price equal to the highest of either 0.5 times Playright's turnover in the preceding 12 months or 4 times Playright's EBITDA result in the preceding 12 months, but in any case not exceeding $250,000.
- Qiiwi will act as a publisher for the games that Playright creates and which, after an initial soft launch, are deemed commercially viable. These games will then be published under Qiiwis publishing account at each respective game store. Qiiwi shall provide resources and expertise for Playright in areas such as marketing (user acquisition), creative production, analysis (business intelligence) and optimization measures to achieve better key performance indicators in each game title.
The British game studio Playright, which started operations in 2020, was founded by experienced game entrepreneurs Evtim Trenkov, Kristina Trenkova and Daniel Rechter. Playright focuses on the development of so-called hyper casual games, with a clear long-term strategy to also position themselves in the field of "hyper/hybrid casual", which means a deeper underlying engagement system in the games than in current hyper casual games.
Hyper casual games is a genre that started to grow exceptionally large in 2018 and continues to grow strongly today. Hyper casual is today the globally dominant gaming genre in terms of number of downloads in the mobile gaming industry, and recorded about 12 billion downloads in 2020 corresponding to an annual growth of over 50%.
Most hyper casual games are characterized by having a gameplay mechanic based on arcade or puzzle in their game flow. The game sessions are normally short, and you can get started playing very quickly and easily whenever you wish. The simplicity of these types of games opens up great opportunities for Qiiwi to reach out globally to new customer groups.
Hyper casual games largely generate their revenue by offering players the ability to watch ads to get new attempts to complete a level, unlock additional content, and to get extra rewards. More recently, in-app purchases have also become more and more popular in hyper casual games as more developers add more layers of engagement to the gaming experience, known as meta elements.
All game concepts are created entirely within Playright and the team has so far experimented with different types of themes and mechanics in their prototypes that include arcade and puzzle game concepts. Evtim, Daniel and Kristina have developed an innovative process in their workflow, which makes it possible to invent new ideas in a time-saving way, create prototypes and test them. Together with Qiiwi, this process will be further streamlined and both teams will together take decisions about which prototypes that have the potential to achieve global success, or which ones to stop developing further.
Playright's ambition is to create games with high engagement but simple gameplay that can both work with and without deeper elements of the gaming experience, so-called "meta". With Qiiwi’s experience and knowledge of casual games with meta elements as part of the gaming experience, Playright gets access to tools which will help them grow in the future and realize their vision of taking a leading position in the fast-growing market for so-called hybrid casual games.
"The company's goal is to build engaging yet simple gaming experiences, so-called "game loops" that can work both with and without any deeper meta-elements." says Evtim trenkov.
"We are very excited and happy to now bring Qiiwi in as a majoritity owner in Playright", says Daniel Rechter. "Evtim and I have worked together before in several gaming projects, where we gained experience that we together brought into our work with Playright. Now we take this experience and insights with us to Qiiwi where we see many synergies between the companies. We are really looking forward to driving Qiiwi’s progress and helping the company expand into the continuously growing hyper casual market."
Kristina Trenkova adds: "Together with Qiiwi, we have a much greater chance of succeeding with the games we create. Qiiwi will complement us perfectly with its expertise in areas such as technology, marketing, publishing and analysis. This makes us confident that our growth in the future will be strong. Today, we see promising results from our initial game tests that include puzzle and arcade game prototypes. We are really excited to now have the opportunity to join Qiiwi and establish their new business area and expand into hyper casual games."
Presentation of the three founders of Playright:
Playright's co-founder Evtim Trenkov is a skilled gaming expert with over 8 years of experience in the mobile gaming industry. His career includes game design and product management roles at leading industry players such as Gameloft, Square Enix, NaturalMotion (Zynga) and MAG Interactive. He and Qiiwi have also previously had a fruitful collaboration with one of Qiiwis blockbuster games – Backpacker®. Evtim's massive market knowledge and his passion for innovation and experimentation with game design have now driven his focus towards the hyper casual market. At Playright, Evtim is responsible for, among other things, operations, project management, game mechanics/design and market development.
Daniel is a serial entrepreneur in the mobile gaming industry. He founded Big Blue Parrot, developer of the game Poker Friends, which was acquired by industry giant Playtika and has also founded Feel Good Gaming. Daniel's focus at Playright is to ensure that product design and game design fit the target audience, as well as overall corporate strategy and product management.
Co-founder Kristina Trenkova is educated at Faber Academy and has a great passion for games and narrative storytelling. At Playright, she works primarily with game design and level design with a focus on player experience that aims to create an engaging and positive environment for both new and experienced mobile players.
CEO of Qiiwi Games, Erik Dale Rundberg, comments:
"Today I am very pleased that we are able to announce that Qiiwi Games has entered into an agreement to acquire 63.75% of the shares in the UK-based game studio Playright. With Playright we are adding a new business area aimed at a large target audience, where I am confident that we will be able to deliver games that stand out. This new business area will also mean that we will have more games to put in the hands of our skilled marketing team with the ambition to increase daily active users (DAU) in our game portfolio.
With Qiiwi's knowledge and historical strategic focus on implementing meta elements into our casual games we are also well positioned to support Playright's strategy of creating deeper underlying engagement systems in its hyper casual games, to ultimately create truly competitive games and be an early player in the new hyper/hybrid casual niche.
Since the majority of the purchase price in the transaction is to be used as a budget for the next 24 months for Playright, I believe that the investment is made at low risk with high potential for good returns and with good future terms to acquire the remaining 36.25% of the company.
Qiiwi has previously worked with and got to know Evtim Trenkov, who is one of the founders of Playright, and I can guarantee that Evtim's knowledge, drive and experience from previous assignments in the gaming industry will strengthen our group on many levels and our development in the future.
For more information about the acquisition I recommend watching our new episode of our IR-Vlog covering the acquisition, where Evtim Trenkov also participates. This can be found at http://www.qiiwi.com/ or on our YouTube channel."
Advokatfirman Lindahl KB is legal advisor to Qiiwi and Swinburn Maddison is legal advisor to the Sellers in connection with the transaction.
For more information, please contact:
Erik Dale Rundberg, CEO, Qiiwi Games
+46 70-926 06 97
Aktieinvest FK AB
Phone: +46 8 506 517 03
About Qiiwi Games AB (publ)
Qiiwi Games is a developer and publisher of games for mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. The company's current operations started in 2012 and the company has gaming studios in Alingsås, Sweden and Nicosia, Cyprus. Qiiwi focuses on developing mobile games aimed at "Casual Gamers" in the trivia, match-3 and word/puzzle genres. The company's slogan is "Adventures for Everyone".
This information is such that Qiiwi Games AB (publ) is obliged to disclose pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was released for public disclosure, through the agency of the contact persons above, on August 19, 2021 at 07:30 a.m. CEST