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Phoenix Games acquires SmileyGamer

The Belgian studio joins Well Played Games, Sixteen Tons Entertainment, and Studio Firefly

Phoenix Games announced the purchase of mobile developer SmileyGamer for an undisclosed sum.

The Belgian studio specialises in match-three titles, with the acquisition aiming at scaling its existing portfolio and expanding it with seasonal games.

SmileyGamer had an annual revenue of £5 million prior to the acquisition, the announcement said, and its return on ad spend has doubled since the Phoenix Games' purchase, with ad revenue also growing 50%.

Klaas Kersting, CEO of Phoenix Games, commented: "As with most of the studios we partner with, we saw a great opportunity to continue giving [SmileyGamer] the freedom to develop great games, but applying our operational knowhow to improve monetisation. We're excited to announce this at an important time for us, as we continue to grow and move into a new chapter, following the recent rebrand."

Kersting founded Phoenix Games in 2019, with the aim to fund small to midsize studios focusing on free-to-play games. It acquires UK developer Well Played Games soon after, and made two more acquisitions in 2020: development group Promotion Software and its gaming label, Sixteen Tons Entertainment, and Romanian live-ops company Studio Firefly.

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Marie Dealessandri

Deputy Editor

Marie Dealessandri joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016 at B2B magazine MCV. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.