Diversified gaming and sports media company Nazara Technologies on Tuesday announced the acquisition of U.S.-based children's interactive entertainment firm WildWorks for $10.40 million.
Nazara will acquire 100% of the company and its intellectual property from existing shareholders in an all-cash transaction, according to the online gaming company's stock exchange filing.
Founded in 2003, WildWorks is an established game studio focused on the children's market for ages 8-12. In the past decade, Wildworks' mobile apps have attracted over 150 million players, and as a result of today's deal, WildWorks is expected to expand into new products and territories in 2023 and beyond.
Two of the original founders, chief executive officer Clark Stacey and chief operating officer Jeff Amis, will remain with the company in their current positions and lead its next phase of growth as part of the “Friends of Nazara” network, the filing says.
“With its strong brand presence and talented Utah-based development team, WildWorks enables us to solidify our leadership position in the gamified learning space for kids,” says Nitish Mittersain, founder and managing director of Nazara Technologies. “The 8-12 player demographic of Animal Jam builds on the success of our Kiddopia early learning product for kids 2-7, extending our reach with families while maintaining our focus on high quality educational content. Successful brand partnerships like Tag with Ryan also showcase the potential for leveraging the WildWorks platform in new categories.”
WildWorks describes its Animal Jam game as an online playground for kids who love animals and the natural world. Available on iOS and Android mobile devices in addition to Mac and PC computers, the game features world building and multiplayer games in a closely moderated social play space.
Following the Nazara acquisition, WildWorks plans to localise the existing Animal Jam apps for new territories and develop new apps and interactive experiences with the brand.
“With the ubiquity of connected mobile devices among kids, parents are recognizing that the quality of a child’s screen time is as vital to monitor as the quantity,” Mittersain observed. “WildWorks has earned the trust of millions of families through their approach to safe social gameplay in Animal Jam, and Nazara’s global capabilities will help bring those experiences to millions more.”
“Joining Nazara enables a new phase of growth and international reach for WildWorks and our games. Our company goal has always been ‘Fun with Substance.’ So, of paramount importance for us, was finding a partner who shared our commitment to improving kids’ lives through play and earning the trust of parents. We immediately resonated with the Nazara team and respect the commitment they’ve already made to kids through Paper Boat Apps and Kiddopia,” says WildWorks CEO Stacey.
Shares of Nazara Technologies zoomed 5% to ₹659.80 on the BSE after the acquisition.