Mobile game publisher Playtika announced today that it has filed for an IPO. The Israel-based company filed its confidential S-1 registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission prior to going public.
The company hasn’t set the price or timing for going public, but has been working on an IPO since last year. There is a window of time for IPOs as gaming stocks have soared during the pandemic, largely because people are playing more games while they seek protection. That window won’t necessarily last forever, especially when bad economic news hits markets again. But many companies are taking the opportunity.
Robert Antokol founded Playtika a decade ago in Israel as a social casino game company. Caesars Interactive Entertainment acquired Playtika but sold it in 201
A consortium of Chinese game companies acquired Playtika for $ 4.4 billion. At the time, Playtika had more than 2,800 employees, but additional offerings expanded the workforce to over 4,000. To date, Playtika has acquired more than 15 companies and has grown so big that it had to rename itself so employees know what the company stands for.
The rebranding we wrote about in September focuses on the phrase “endless possibilities to play”. At its core, Playtika believes that life needs game, and its job is to create infinite ways to play its games spanning casual, hardcore and social casino genres, Playtika CMO Nir Korczak said in an interview with GamesBeat in September.
Playtika is owned by Alpha Frontier, a consortium of investors that includes the giant’s chairman Shu Yuzhu. Giant tried to acquire the company, but to no avail. The company’s acquisitions include the German company Wooga, the Austrian company Supertreat and the Finnish company Seriously. The company operates 20 different games, and all of them are free titles that are regularly updated (this is called live operations). Playtika has more than 35 million players who return to their games every month – and 12 million who return daily. The studios are located in 19 offices.
Public offerings for game companies generated $ 9.2 billion in value in the first nine months of 2020, according to InvestGame, a game investment tracking company.
While the stock market took some early dives, the market began to rebound in June and several companies went public in Asia. Archosaur Games raised $ 280 million and Kakao Games raised $ 330 million. Activision Blizzard has raised $ 2 billion in senior debt to refinance. Unity Technologies raised $ 1.3 billion in mid-September at a valuation of $ 13.6 billion.
Skillz has not yet finalized its deal, but the skill-based gaming company is going public through a $ 3.5 billion Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC). And Roblox has also filed for an initial public offering, possibly worth $ 8 billion early next year.
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