PlaySimple The Gaming Development Startup

PlaySimple a leading global developer of free-to-play games, ruled mostly by women players.


PlaySimple is a Bengaluru-based mobile gaming development startup, founded in 2014. With an aim to create a web of social word games, it has developed games like WordJam, WordTrek, WordTrip, solitaire and daily-themed crosswords. This is a rapidly growing and a highly profitable game studio which has established its position in the market as a leading global developer of free-to-play games.

The startup has a portfolio of nine casual games covering over 75 million downloads with 7 million active users on a monthly basis. The platform is ruled by mostly the women players covering around 80% of its total player base. It also has 1.9 million active users on a daily basis.

Swedish Gaming Firm MTG Acquires India’s PlaySimple

Sweden-based Modern Times Group (MTG) acquired PlaySimple for $360 million. This acquisition is based on the startup’s exponential growth in the fast-growing mobile words game genre in the global market. This free-to-play word games platform is an exciting new genre for MTG.

MTG, in their 100% acquisition of the startup PlaySimple, will be providing them 77% of the acquisition amount in cash and the rest of the amount will be paid in the form of MTG class B shares. Apart from the acquisition amount, there will also be performance based earn-outs of around $150 million for this Indian gaming firm.

This acquisition is one of the largest cash exits for an Indian startup after Byju’s who bought WhiteHatJr for $300 million. This acquisition is profitable for both the companies:

  • For PlaySimple, this will give them creative freedom and new opportunities from the GamingCo.
  • PlaySimple is also lined up to produce four more new games, two of which will be card games, bringing a new genre for the company.
  • For MTG, this acquisition will provide them to build a diversified gaming vertical with new gaming genres.
  • Another benefit for MTG is that PlaySimple’s impressive user base will bring more female gamers to MTG’s platform.
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Gaming startups can look for simpler ways of developing games and as PlaySimple did with their user base being highly covered with 80% of females this is indeed a great strategy to work with.

The State of Gaming Industry In India as well as In Global Market

India’s mobile gaming market is still at nascent stage, estimated to be at $40-$50 million but it has been growing rapidly at a CAGR of 50%. This is due to the rise in digital infrastructure quality and engaging gaming content.

Moreover, because of increase in the number of smartphone users, gaming developers are looking further to explore the gaming sector more. At a global level, the worth of gaming market is over $100 billion which is more than the movie and the music business combined.

What’s in it for Gaming Startups?

The major takeaway from PlaySimple gaming development firm is that they use a data-driven operating model which allows them to develop multiple games especially popular with a growing global audience of female gamers.

This acquisition of PlaySimple by MTG, marks an important step in building a diversifying gaming vertical with the top-notch companies and in return will provide a more stable business for the Swedish firm.

Gaming startups can look for simpler ways of developing games and as PlaySimple did with their user base being highly covered with 80% of females this is indeed a great strategy to work with.

Vaishali Das
Vaishali Das
Vaishali writes on financial concepts, business-life-cycle, start-ups and entrepreneurship. An alumna of Delhi University she specialises in digital publishing and SEO.

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