Sweden’s Stillfront Group has acquired Middle East-based game publisher Babil Games, it said in a statement.
The deal is said to be the largest exit in the region’s gaming industry, although financial details have not been disclosed.
Stillfront, a creator, publisher and distributor of digital games, announced that it had acquired 100% of Amman- and Dubai-based Babil Games’ shares.
However, Babil’s founders—Mohammed Fahmi, Abdullah Fahmi and Hubertus Thonhauser—will continue to lead the company even after the deal is closed.
“Babil will strengthen Stillfront’s position in a number of strategic areas; for instance, in the mobile strategy games space and with publishing capabilities,” said Jörgen Larsson, Stillfront Group’s CEO.
The unique position of Babil, now within our Group, will create significant value going forward, Larsson said.
Based in Amman and Dubai, Babil Games was founded by the Fahmi duo and Thonhauser in 2012. It has built a reputation for itself as a pure mobile games publisher with a focus on Arabic game content.
“Stillfront have great strengths in markets outside MENA. Together we will do so many amazing things,” Fahmi said. ”For publishing, it is getting harder each day, and that so many tried to do what we do but didn’t have great success, but we are up to the challenges, and Babil games team will be up to it.”
Babil’s high grossing titles include Babil include ‘Niba Harb 2’, ‘Asefat Al-Dababat’, ‘Jaish Al-Foolath’ and ‘Admiral’. It made revenues of $3 million during 2016, with over 15% net profit margin, according to the statement.
Stillfront Group was also established in 2012 and distributes games globally with the principal markets as Sweden, Germany, UK and South America.
Gaming has been kind of hot when it comes to M&As in the region.
Recently, Falafel Games, one of the first gaming studios to emerge in the Middle East, raised $2.6 million from Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Kafalat’s ISME Program, a $30 million initiative funded by the government of Lebanon.
Falafel Games that develops game applications will use the funds to create new games and enhance expansion.
Founded in 2010 by Vince Ghossoub and Radwan Kasmiya, Falafel Games focuses on MMO (massively multiplayer online) games.
According to a study from Strategy& and Twofour54, the gaming market in the Middle East would grow to $4.4 billion by 2022 from $1 billion currently.
Globally the market for digital games grew 8% from 2014 to $61 billion, according to a report from gaming intelligence firm SuperData Research.