Kwalee, a leading global games publisher and developer, has announced that it has taken a stake in French mobile game studio 8SEC. Kwalee’s CFO Matthew Farrow and VP of Mobile Publishing John Wright will join their board.

8SEC has published over 90 mobile games, achieving over 50 million game downloads with titles such as Trivia.io, Hero Squad and Idle Army. They were an early adopter of the Hybrid Casual style of mobile game – easy to pick up but designed for long-term play with revenue from a mix of ads and in-app purchases.

They will continue to operate independently out of offices in Paris and Lyon, but with the added benefit of Kwalee’s large global team and specialist expertise in user acquisition, monetisation, game design and data science. Kwalee has earned a reputation as the developer’s champion with a dedicated publishing team solely focused on converting game concepts into profitable hits.

We’re delighted to invest in talented game studios like 8SEC, expand our reach in the market and collaborate to help them reach even greater success. 8SEC are renowned for their high quality of production and development and are proven global chart toppers. They align perfectly with our mission of making the most fun games for the world’s players and we’re excited to support them with the data driven methods we use to scale games globally.

David Darling, CEO of Kwalee’s

I am thrilled to announce this strategic partnership with Kwalee. This collaboration marks a significant milestone for both organisations as we join forces to create incredible games that will push the Hybrid Casual mobile market into the next generation. We’re very excited for the future and are impatient to show the world the incredible project we’re working on together!

Louis Giraud, CEO of 8SEC
Left to right – Louis Croquet, CCO at 8SEC, Matthew Farrow, CFO at Kwalee, John Wright, VP of Mobile Publishing at Kwalee, Louis Giraud, CEO at 8SEC and Jason Falcus, COO at Kwalee – celebrating the investment and new collaboration

This is the second strategic investment in France from Kwalee, following their acquisition of casual narrative game specialists Tictales in 2022. It also follows the recent announcement that Kwalee have signed a Development and Publishing Agreement with Fahy Studios in Saudi Arabia, part of the LevelUp accelerator at NEOM – a special economic zone being fueled by $500 billion of investment from the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and local and international investors.

The investment in 8SEC comes at a challenging time in mobile games, where studio closures and deep layoffs reflect a competitive and changing market. Overturning this trend, the Kwalee team remains optimistic that 2024 is the right time to invest in multi million level deals to back new and established mobile game studios.

Kwalee operates worldwide, with studios in the UK, India, Portugal and China. With a mobile games portfolio of over 70 hit games, they’ve been a dominant force in the charts, achieving over 1 billion downloads in over a decade. In recent years, they’ve diversified their offering to also include PC and console games publishing and grown to a team of over 400 people worldwide.

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