Aristocrat Leisure has bought three studios to expand its Digital game development capability, in line with its growth strategy. The investments are strongly aligned to targeted genres, particularly the high-growth casual and merge segments where Aristocrat Digital already has a presence, and the social casino segment, in which the business has a market-leading position globally.

Aristocrat has agreed to acquire Helsinki-based free-to-play mobile gaming studio Futureplay, which specialises in the growing merge/match 3 segment of the casual market. Founded in 2015, Futureplay has released six games that have been played by over 140 million users around the world, including titles such as Merge Gardens, Idle Farming Empire and Battlelands Royale. Futureplay will operate under the proven leadership of Jami Laes, as a studio reporting within Aristocrat’s Plarium business. 

Given talent opportunities in the region, Aristocrat has established a further Helsinkibased studio, Northern Stars. Northern Stars will focus on the emerging hybrid casual genre under the world-class game development and studio leaders, Minwoo Lee (ex EA, Rovio, Ubisoft) and Antti Nikander (ex Rovio). Minwoo and Antti bring a wealth of experience to the Group, which will help us grow Aristocrat’s presence in Finland and further expand our game development capabilities.

Aristocrat has also acquired Playsoft, the Gdańsk (Poland) based mobile gaming studio specialising in the social casino genre. Playsoft has a 13+ year track record of developing more than 50 successful game titles for third-party partners. Playsoft will operate within the Product Madness business, and continue to be led by its impressive founders Nicolas Bensignor and Pierre Olivier Monteil. The studio will help accelerate Product Madness’s pipeline and deliver innovation, while establishing a strong footprint for the company in another strategic European location.