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Moon Active Invests $50m in Spyke Games

WRITTEN BY | 07 May 2024
Moon Active Invests $50m in Spyke Games

This article is based on our Weekly News Digest #18 from 06.05.2024. If you want to receive such analyses first, subscribe to our weekly newsletter. There, we analyze the most significant deals, elaborating on the financials and strategy behind them, while also covering the smaller transactions of the week.

Turkey-based mobile games developer Spyke Games has secured a $50m investment from Moon Active, an Israel-based mobile games developer and publisher. This transaction grants Moon Active a 15.9% ownership stake in Spyke Games, valuing the latter at approximately $315m.

Founded in 2021, Spyke Games raised $55m of Seed funding from Griffin Gaming Partners in Jan’22. This is the largest disclosed Seed round among the gaming companies in our database so far. Such confidence from the investors might partially come from an impressive founding team with a C-level background at Peak and Riot Games.

In late 2022, Spyke Games released Tile Busters, its first game in the tile puzzle genre, which quickly found success. The lifetime IAP Revenue of the title exceeds $38.6m, with a peak of $5.2m in Oct’22. You can read an extensive analysis of what the game did to achieve this in this piece by our friends at Deconstructor of Fun.

Spyke Games AppmagicSource: AppMagic

Spyke Games is launching Blitz Busters, another entry into the tile puzzle genre. This time, their new game is built around the core gameplay inspired by Triple Match 3D — a hit game by Chinese publisher Boombox Games.

At this stage, the partnership with Moon Active makes a lot of sense. The Israel-based publisher is best known for its social casino title, Coin Master, which dominated its genre for many years until the Monopoly Go came in.

However, Moon Active is considerably more than just Coin Master. The company has been actively expanding into the casual genre to diversify its portfolio. In 2020, Moon Active acquired Melsoft, creators of the hit farm adventure game Family Island. What’s even more interesting is that the company bought Zen Match from Turkey-based mobile games developer Good Job Games, one of the best-performing games in the Match-3 tiles genre. As of 2024, Spyke’s Tile Busters and Moon Active’s Zen Match rank second and third in IAP Revenue within their genre, according to AppMagic.

Match 3 AppmagicSource: AppMagic

The deal allows Moon Active to address the competition and align with a rising studio, with a chance to take a bigger market share in the future. Though primarily making its money on social casino games, the above-mentioned acquisitions of Melsoft and Zen Match tell how seriously Moon Active takes its expansion to the casual genre. Before that, we saw Moon Active doing M&As for growth in the genre, but now it makes much more sense for them to keep the acquisition funds for the future and focus on corporate investments. Considering how hard it is to enter the market and grow a game, one might want to diversify and support promising studios to potentially acquire them when more stable and scalable success is reached.

For Spyke games, the partnership provides additional support, which is especially important in the Red Ocean market of the tile puzzle genre. This market demands substantial UA spending, deep monetization strategies, and extensive LiveOps expertise. Moon Active has it all.

Given Peak’s founders’ extremely successful exit in the $2.1B sale to Zynga, it’s unlikely that Moon Active will get a controlling stake in Spyke Games anytime soon. Moreover, the founders of Spyke Games have a proven track record of managing large companies, scaling significant projects, and securing substantial funding. Therefore, we have all the reasons to expect new funding rounds and more game releases before Spyke Games’ founders start potentially considering their exit.