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Voodoo acquires Gumbug

Mobile publisher picks up London-based developer of Smash Supreme and Notorious 99

Voodoo is continuing its expansion with the acquisition of London-based mobile studio Gumbug, according to VentureBeat.

Gumbug is the developer behind Smash Supreme and Notorious 99. The studio was founded in 2013 by a trio of Mind Candy veterans who also had experience working with Bossa Studios, Freedom Factory Studios, and Space Ape Games.

According to Google Play, Smash Supreme has been downloaded more than 1 million times, while Notorious 99 has over 100,000 installs. Smash Supreme was last updated in January, and Notorious 99 was last updated the month before that.

"We are thrilled at the opportunity to work with Voodoo through a much closer relationship, combining our experience with theirs to continue to innovate and develop leading mobile game experiences," Gumbug CEO Simon Hill said in a statement. "We knew immediately that Voodoo would be a perfect partner due to their industry knowledge and super-charged focus on data-driven development."

In a little over a year, the Paris-based Voodoo has expanded with new studios in Montreal, Istanbul, and Berlin. That growth was fueled in part by a $200 million investment from Goldman Sachs in mid-2018.

Along the way, Voodoo has also been accused of cloning games, with titles like Hole.io and The Fish Master appearing to take inspiration from established titles like Donut County and Ridiculous Fishing, respectively.

"What differentiates Voodoo compared to the other publishers is that when others start to do publishing, they try to detect games that work and then do a copy of that existing game," Voodoo CEO Alexandre Yazdi told VentureBeat. "But great games are very rare. What we do instead is recognize there is a lot of talent in the world. Instead of trying to find games to copy, we find the talent. Then we try to coach them to show them everything we [know], and help them succeed. Sometimes a creative just needs some information collection."

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