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Miniklip has agreed to buy mobile game hit maker Sybo Metro Surfers. The terms of the contract were not disclosed. But this is a very big job.
It is a sign of action consolidation in games, and this coincides with the 10th anniversary of the launch of Subway Surfers. The game has become an evergreen title with more than three billion downloads since 2012.
In an interview with GamesBeat, Sybo CEO Mathias Gredal said that in the last 18 months, Subway Surfers’ daily active users have grown from about 15 million to 20 million per day. He praised efforts to focus on live operations to ensure players return. Although both companies did not talk about the purchase price because they are private, Gredal Nørvig said it was the biggest deal in European mobile games this year.
“It’s really monumental,” he said. The founders were really proud of what they have achieved with Subway Surfers becoming the biggest game, seeing how the market is loaded, how the players love it, how the fans keep coming, ”Gredal Norwig said. “We had a great walk and we’ve seen the teams run very well over the last few years. The consolidation in the market and all the increasing user purchase budgets, everything that is happening around us, wanted to find out what it means if we can find the right fit or the right house for Sybo. What really matters to us is finding a partner who sees what we want to go and can make the trip there. ”
In total, Miniclip will have 70 million daily active users, Miniclip CEO Saad Choudri said in an interview with GamesBeat.
“Sybo is one of the jewels of the mobile gaming industry, an IP created from the first mobile game,” Choudri said. “There are only a few of them, like Angry Birds, and we know that as a game, Subway Surfers are the biggest. We prefer to attract an audience as our number one job, and our whole vision and goal is to become the most popular gaming company in the world. What Sybo and the team are doing now with Subway Surfers is achieving this directly. ”
The biggest game
Miniclip’s numbers, by the way, are now bigger than Roblox’s, thanks to Subway Surfers.
Sybo was founded in 2010 by Sylvester Rishøj Jensen and Bodie Jahn-Mulliner, graduates of the Danish School of Animation. Their short film gave birth to Subway Surfers, which they co-produced with Danish gaming publisher Kiloo.
“We are very grateful to Mathias and the entire SYBO Team for their vision, experience and performance, which have strengthened Subway Surfers both creatively and commercially over the last decade,” he said. Sybo co-founder Sylvester Risoj Jensen made a statement. “Subway Surfers continues to be a successful mobile game for millions of fans around the world every year.”
By operating on this scale, Sybo had great ambitions.
“We believe we can bring people together, even if it’s casual, even if it’s a snack between meetings or between school sessions,” Gredal Nørvig said.
About half of the company’s employees focus on adding more features to the game and extending game time with live operations.
“We have different teams working on the activities we want to announce to the market very soon. We have a title and a soft launch, and we have other things that can be found relatively quickly in app stores. So we killed some projects in those days. But now we are finally ready to meet the market again with new games this year, ”said Gredal Norwig.
He added: “If you look at the Metro from three years ago to the present, it’s a very different game. What people sometimes don’t realize is that you’re really spending the effort, development resources, time, and everything else you need to create a new game that can be a feature of an existing IP. ”
History of the miniclip
Miniclip, which is mostly owned by Tencent, has released some of the most downloaded games in the world. Founded in 2001, the company has successfully grown a large global audience in more than 195 countries and on six continents, with more than 60 games in its growing portfolio leading the studio to more than three billion downloads by the end of June 2020, reaching four. Billion downloads in the first quarter of 2022.
“When it started 10 years ago, our dream was to create something special that would be loved by future generations,” Sybo co-founder Bodie Jahn-Mulliner said in a statement. “The whole company and our incredible fans brought the game to great heights. We really had a perfect flow in our partnership and game adventure, which now ended in one of the biggest (if not the biggest) deals in Danish game history. This is a legacy that we are both very proud of. “
The first days
Copenhagen co-developed the Danish-based Sybo game with Kiloo Publishing. The acquisition will be completed this July, following the 10th anniversary of the old game and a record-breaking banner year for daily installations, daily active users and daily revenue. In 2020, Sybo took over the publishing role.
Gredal Nørvig, one of the founders, said: “When they set up the company, they never expected sales because reaching that level was not what we imagined. And over the years, I’ve been relentlessly saying “no” to many potential buyers at least once a week, because we’ve been very successful as a quality-oriented company. “
He added: “It’s hard to understand how many players we have reached. So it comes with a lot of responsibility, a lot of fan interaction and love for the community, “said Gredal Nørvig.” We want to serve this community. So we want to allow them to enjoy IP in different genres. But we also want to show. that we can also explore new IPS because people grew up with Subway Surfers. ”
Led by Gredal Nørvig, a team of savvy and experienced leaders navigated the industry of opportunities and challenges. The company plans to retain its current board with David Byrne, who joined in 2018 as chief operating officer and head of games; Naz Amarchi-Cuevas, who joined in 2017 as chief commercial officer and marketing manager; Anne Schnack Hansen, who joined in 2018 as a senior people officer; and Andreas Glenwig, who joined in 2019 as CFO.
“Since its launch in May 2012, the Subway Surfers mobile game has reached more than 150 million active players per month, is the most downloaded mobile game, was the first game in the world to reach one billion downloads on Google Play, and Apple’s The most downloaded endless running game in the history of the App Store, ”Choudry said. “Miniclip has always focused on creating high-quality games that reveal the player to everyone, which has helped define the business and lead the crowded market, providing consistent growth by building our M&A with fantastic and innovative new partners. That’s why the Sybo team felt like such a natural fit by developing one of the most popular games in the world. They have a proven track record of providing and maintaining an incredible player experience, as well as continuing to grow viral. We enjoy accepting them into the Miniclip family because we give them a chance to run and keep running. ”
Sybo is among the latest game developer purchases by Miniclip after the recent acquisitions of Supersonic Software (One Clue Crossword and Picture Cross) and Eight Pixels Square (Sniper Strike: Special Ops).
Raine served as Sybo’s exclusive consultant in the sale of Miniclip. And Bech Bruun worked as a legal and tax advisor at Sybo.
Today, the game is published entirely by Sybo and continues to develop regular updates for Subway Surfers. Subway Surfers went on sale in the Apple Store in May 2012 and quickly topped the charts. One week after it went on sale on the App Store, Subway Surfers became the number one download in 20 countries, and soon became the number one download in 50 countries, including the United States.
In September 2015, three years after its debut, Subway Surfers reached the stage – one billion downloads worldwide. Subway Surfers surpassed the most downloaded mobile game of 2019 worldwide, and today Subway Surfers has more than three billion downloads. There are now 140 people in Sybo.
Choudhury said there was now a market correction driven by a slowdown in macroeconomic trends, and that the company was disciplined in its approach to deals.
“We see the bubbles coming out of the market a bit, but I think that’s actually a good thing because we need a market correction,” Choudhury said. “It was difficult to justify some of the deals and assessments we saw,” he said. We are considering a long-term perspective. “
Miniclip’s 13 offices have an audience of 910 people and 250 million monthly active users. To date, Miniclip’s digital games, which cover 8 Ball Pool, Golf Battle, Football Strike, Carrom Pool and Agar.io franchises, have received more than 4 billion downloads. Tencent acquired a majority stake in 2015. Choudhry said the company plans to release 14 games this year.
“We’re in the game,” Choudhury said. “We are not here to create a kind of financial arbitration. We want to continue to create great games and start great games. And that’s why we have more presentations on the 14th this year than ever before. And Sybo has a roadmap and they will introduce some new games soon. We hope to be excited to hear about them in the coming months. ”
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