SINGAPORE- and Malaysia-based game publisher iCandy Interactive (iCandy) has acquired Indonesian mobile game developer Joyseed as part of its plans to expand its network of studios across Southeast Asia.
iCandy chief operating officer Desmond Lee said the acquisition, in which iCandy takes a 70% stake in Joyseed for US$188,000, was largely driven by the studio’s unique approach to making games and their drive to create content for an international audience instead of something hyperlocal.
Lee explained how they met the independent studio during the Casual Connect conference in Singapore in 2015. “We are always on the lookout for talented studios in Southeast Asia. Truth be told, we had aspirations to acquire an Indonesian studio but it took some time as we wanted to be sure that they would be a good fit,” he said.
Joyseed recently soft-launched its first game Hollywhoot in which players take control of a director out to make a name in Hollywood by producing spoofs of famous movies. Hollywhoot is of the idle game genre that has players performing simple actions like clicking on the screen constantly to earn in-game currency.
Though Joyseed has been accepted into iCandy’s fold, the studio is said to maintain full autonomy and will receive assistance from iCandy to develop their brand and publish the game.
Joyseed would also benefit from tapping into iCandy’s massive 23 million user base. Lee said Hollywhoot would be cross-promoted together with iCandy’s 10 other games.
Lee highlighted that the objective is to help Joyseed grow from its current five-man team to 10 by the end of the year. He also added that he expects Joyseed to be developing two games a year with the increased capacity.
Expanding the portfolio
He also added that iCandy would be expanding its team in Malaysia over the next six months as it is set to manage Hong Kong game developer’s Animoca Brands portfolio of over 300 casual mobile games, apart from its own internally developed games, including IP-based games, based on Garfield, Astro Boy, Doraemon and Ben 10.
The deal, which was inked in November 2017, saw Animoca selling its entire portfolio of games to iCandy for US$3.8 million.
On the question of what is next for iCandy following this recent acquisition, Lee said the company is constantly exploring new studio opportunities across the region and is currently exploring potential ones in Thailand and the Philippines.