Playtika is a social gaming developer based in Israel. It was acquired by Caesars in 2011, a year after it was founded. The social gaming developer is acquiring Innplay Labs, another Israeli-based gaming developer, for $300 million.
Playtika will pay $80 as the initial fee and complete the rest in a few years based on the drawn contract. Innplay Labs is the developer of casino games such as Tiles of Fortune, Water Ride, Brix Master, and Animal Kingdom.
Social gaming developers do not necessarily need a license to provide their games to casinos. Social games use money. Ideally, players do not need to deposit money to play these games or to win cash prizes.
Unfortunately, this does not leave the game developers immune to lawsuits. For instance, Playtika is facing a lawsuit in Alabama.
Meanwhile, Innplay focuses on creating games featuring quality art and animation. The company leverages data to ensure players have the best experience playing their games. While Innplay does not create social casinos, Playtika is interested in Innplay’s business model.
Playtika is no longer a company under Caesars’ umbrella. The company was bought by a Chinese firm for $4.4 billion in 2016. The game developer still collaborates with Caesars.
Playtika’s Acquisitions in 2023
Playtika has announced the acquisition of several other companies this year. In August, the gaming developer announced it was buying Youda Games from Azerion Group.
The acquisition agreement required Playtika to spend $86.8 million. This deal also had a performance-based element that would potentially increase the sale of the Youda to $160.2 million. Some of the games from Youda Games include the Governor of Poker series, Higher Lower, Poker World, and free-to-play blackjack titles.
In January, the gaming developer wanted to buy Rovio, the developer of Angry Birds. Unfortunately, the purchase did not go through. Playtika had offered to pay $729 million.
In March, Rovio announced the end of talks with Playtika. A month later, a Japanese-based gaming developer, Sega, bought Rovio for $750 million.
How would you describe gambling? For something to be described as gambling, it must contain several elements. This includes a wager, a chance to win, and a valuable prize.
This eliminates social casinos from that definition. Unfortunately, social casinos have been faced with multiple lawsuits based on the fact that they allow players to use money chips to play games. These lawsuits often end with settlements.
Unfortunately, Playtika is facing one such lawsuit in Alabama. The case was filed in March 2023 by Gayla Hamilton Mills. According to the plaintiff, Playtika games are games of chance and are a violation of the state’s laws.
Playtika has settled a similar lawsuit before. The gaming developer was sued in Washington and paid $38 million in 2021.
DoubleDown Interactive and IGT were also sued in Washington this year. They paid $415 million in Washington, while VGW paid a little over $11 million in Kentucky.
Some social casinos protect themselves from such lawsuits. For instance, Yellow Social Interactive has included a class action waiver in its terms and conditions.