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India’s Mobile Premier League made a move into Europe this week as it acquired casual online skill game maker GameDuell.
MPL now has a global presence that spans Europe, Asia, and North America. Bengalaru, India-based MPL became a new unicorn in mobile esports as it raised a $150 million funding round at a $2.3 billion valuation in September. Not bad for a company started in 2018 by Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra.
And it has used some of that money to acquired GameDuell in Berlin, Germany, as it expands operations across key global markets. It is an interesting thing to see Indian companies — like the education gaming firm Byju’s — buying Western companies in the game business. It’s a sign of the maturity of India’s gaming ecosystem and capital markets.
GameDuell has a stable of 40 casual online skill games available in seven languages. They include community card and board games, a cross-platform gaming community.
This move also marks MPL’s foray into the mobile free-to-play space. MPL has been focused on exploring multiple segments to offer gaming and esports experiences to users. The GameDuell management team is also excited to bring their deep experience in building multiplayer games like board, action arcade and puzzle games, to both an Indian and global audience across web, social and mobile platforms. MPL has more than 1,000 employees in six cities and it has raised $375 million to date. All told, it has more than 70 games.
Speaking on this collaboration, MPL CEO Sai Srinivas said in a statement, “We are excited to expand our operations to Europe after having successfully ventured into Indonesia and the U.S. We believe our collaboration with GameDuell will give us the right strategic support and expertise to take this new journey forward and help us continue to offer exemplary gaming experience for both India and the world. We welcome the incredibly talented GameDuell team onboard, and together we look forward to creating best in class gaming experiences and growing the Mobile F2P segment.”
GameDuell’s top titles include games like Fluffy, Bubble Speed, Jungle Jewels, Grand Gin Rummy, Belote, and Solitaire. Kai Bolik, CEO of GameDuell, said in an email to GamesBeat that his company has 120 employees. I’ve corresponded with Bolik for around 14 or more years, pretty much ever since I’ve been at GamesBeat.
Bolik started his company in 2003.