Azur Games is a mobile game developer and publisher founded in 2017 and based in Cyprus. The company defines itself as both, but its publisher aspect is more prominent. It has more than 150 “high-performing” projects in various genres under its belt, and in 2022, its portfolio surpassed 3 billion downloads. It’s not surprising that Azur Games acquired a solid place among the top 3 publishers worldwide. Second, to be more precise, according to annual AppMagic data.
Azur Games’ diversification of game genres
Although casual and hyper-casual games make up the majority of their portfolio, they publish games in a broad range of genres, from hyper-casual to mid-core and PvP. One hundred fifty high-performing games mean that the company’s whole portfolio is much more crowded than that. Actually, there are 708 games that belong to Azur Games in Appmagic’s database.
Azur Games’ acquisition approach
Azur Games has a vast portfolio of games, and it doesn’t look like they intend to stop expanding it. Azur Games aggressively buys games from other companies, and these transactions don’t involve single games. They usually buy whole portfolios or dozens of games from another company’s portfolio.
Azur Games’ recent portfolio acquisition: Good Job Games
The last of these transactions was conducted with Good Job Games, where Azur Games bought Good Job Games’ entire hyper-casual game portfolio. Good Job Games is a Turkish game developer with over 35 launched games, which have managed to acquire more than 2.5 billion downloads.
Azur Games founder Dmitry Yaminsky commented on the transaction:
“Our focus has always been, and continues to be, making an impact in the genres we work on. We are proud of what we have achieved in the Hypercasual genre, and we are very excited about the future of our projects in the capable hands of Azur Games. As we move forward, we are setting our sights on leveraging our vast experience to focus on making an impact in more genres.”
Azur Games’ previous portfolio acquisitions: Tastypill
This is not the only portfolio acquisition by Azur Games. Previously, it acquired the portfolio of Tastypill, an American game publisher that was established in 2015 and has over 1 billion downloads. It is one of the leading mobile game developers and publishers in the US, ranking among the top 15 US game publishers. Different than the Good Job Games transaction, the Tastypill deal involves acquiring all the existing gaming assets and related intellectual property.
Dmitry Yaminsky’s comment on this transaction was:
“The impressive install count of Tastypill games is self-evident. They are stellar creations from a robust team with a look and feel that resonates with audiences. Our aim is to unlock the full potential of these titles using our in-house expertise and resources.”
Azur Games’ strategic investments in developers
Azur Games doesn’t only buy whole portfolios to expand its influence. In 2022, it bought 30% of French game developer Pinpin Team, which was launched in 2008 with an online educational platform for children. Pinpin Team introduced its first mobile game in 2014 and entered the hyper-casual market in 2017 with Golf Orbit. Azur Games’ blog states it has 10 million downloads, but digging into Appmagic data reveals that the company has a Golf Orbit: Perfect Swing, which has roughly over 3 million lifetime downloads. We are not sure about the cause of the difference. Maybe it’s because the game was rebranded, or the data was reset after the transaction.
Azur Games’ blog states that they launched a program to invest in gaming companies the previous year, and its investment leverage and marketing expertise would help Pinpin Team entirely focus on developing new products and increasing the company’s capitalization. On the other hand, Azur Games would take over publishing all the company’s gaming projects. They’ve also announced that they would continue to look for proactive and talented teams for long-term partnerships in a competitive market, and investing in partners was one of the company’s key directions at that moment.
Pinpin team is not the only developer that Azur Games has invested in. It has also invested in KobGames Studios, Skyrocket, and the developer of the Mushroom Wars Series. In an article announcing the investment, Azur Games states:
“Needless to say, we’re not planning to stop any time soon — our search for awesome teams continues on.”
When Dmitry Yaminsky’s and the company’s statements after the acquisitions or investments are closely examined, it looks like Azur Games buys games and studios to focus on their marketing to make them reach wider audiences. It’s a smart strategy to buy established games or those with high potential and focus on their marketing to make them more profitable. But when the dates and order of the investments and transactions are considered, it looks like Azur Games has started to expand by investing in and partnering with developers and then switched to buying portfolios.
There is this saying that you don’t need to have a cow to drink milk. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to have a cow to even profit from the milk trade. Aggressively buying companies or their range of products or brands is a strategy that has been applied since Cornelius Vanderbilt. Whether Azur Games does this to suppress or limit the competition is the looming question, and whether they switch from investing in developers to buying out portfolios because it’s more cost-efficient is another. In any case, Azur Games is the second publisher worldwide according to downloads, and it doesn’t look like it will fall behind anytime soon. Since we are about to enter a new year, we’ll see if their aggressive portfolio acquisitions or investments will continue.