Australia’s Aristocrat buys Israeli game developer Plarium for $500 million

Herzliya-based company is the creator of popular international games for mobile and web users including Vikings: War of Clans

Luke Tress is a video journalist and tech reporter for the Times of Israel

Plarium's most popular game to date, Vikings: War of Clans. (YouTube screenshot)
Plarium's most popular game to date, Vikings: War of Clans. (YouTube screenshot)

The Australian gaming company Aristocrat Leisure Limited is buying Israeli social gaming company Plarium for $500 million.

Plarium, headquartered in Herzliya, is a mobile, social and web-based game developer with five genre-specific studios and 1,200 employees in Israel, Europe and the US. Its most popular game, Vikings: War of Clans, repeatedly ranks in the top 10 strategy games since its launch in August 2015. Other titles include Sparta: War of Empires, Soldiers Inc. and Thrones: Kingdom at War. The company’s games are free to play, but players have the option to purchase premium content.

Aristocrat CEO Trevor Croker said Plarium will help the company expand into the fast-growing mobile gaming market, and will help Aristocrat move into new mobile gaming genres, including strategy and role playing games.

“Plarium’s business is strongly aligned with Aristocrat’s, with similar operational approaches to game development and segment and market entry, common focus on producing the world’s best gaming content and a common aspiration to be a market leader,” Croker said. “We look forward to working with and supporting the continued success of the Plarium team.”

Plarium’s CEO, Avraham Shalel, who co-founded the company in 2009, will continue to lead the company after the acquisition.

“Aristocrat is an ideal partner for us given our common aspiration to be a global leader in social gaming, which will be accelerated through leveraging Aristocrat’s financial, strategic and operational resources,” Shalel said.

The transaction is expected to be completed by December 2017.

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