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Dream Games raises $7.5 million seed round to create high-quality puzzle games

George Miller

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Dream Games raises $7.5 million seed round to create high-quality puzzle games
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

  • Dream Games has been created by five former employees of Peak Games, developer of hit puzzle games Toy Blast and Toon Blast.

  • The $7.5 million seed investment was led by Makers Fund, joined by Balderton Capital

  • New funding will help Dream Games attract the best new talent to Istanbul, a region that is emerging as a significant global leader in the puzzle game space

  • The company aims to design market-leading, high-quality games for an audience of loyal players across the hugely successful casual puzzle game industry

Dream Games – the Turkish mobile gaming company founded by the team that worked on hit puzzle games Toy Blast and Toon Blast – has raised $7.5 million in its first highly competitive round of seed funding.

In just three months, Dream Games has already attracted interest from a number of leading game companies and VCs, including Makers Fund who led this round, and co-investor Balderton Capital.

The investment will be used to fund the recruitment of new talent to join the Dream Games team in Istanbul as it looks to increase its personnel five-fold over the next two years.

The company has been co-founded by the former Product Director at Peak Games, Soner Aydemir, who worked for Toy Blast and its successor Toon Blast. Joining Soner on the Dream Games founding team are Ikbal Namli and Hakan Saglam, the former engineering leads; Eren Sengul and Serdar Yilmaz, the product manager and 3D artist.

In its first year, Dream Games wants to grow this team size to 20. In year two, this team will expand further as the company gears up for launch and requires additional expertise.

“Supercell built amazing games with very small teams,” said Soner, “proving you don’t need huge teams spread across regions to build something people want to play. What you do need, however, is a talented team. We plan to focus our investments on building a highly skilled team to develop high-quality games.”

A high-quality approach

Rather than releasing game after game into a relatively saturated mobile space, Dream Games is setting itself apart by focusing on quality over quantity.

“We don’t believe in a hit-or-miss approach towards game development” added Soner. “For us, its evolution over innovation, execution over ideas. We plan to fix the pain points for players in existing games and our experience makes us confident we can build something truly global by focusing on a single high-quality, long-standing game instead of multiple flash-in-the-pan titles. We’d rather people were loyally playing our one game for 10 years than losing interest every six months when something new comes along.”

It’s Turkey’s time to shine

Part of Dream Games appeal is that it’s part of a flourishing gaming ecosystem coming out of Istanbul that’s attracting interest from the industry’s biggest players; a region that is establishing itself as a leading market.

In 2017, Peak Games sold its card and board games studio to mobile gaming giant Zynga for $100 million. Zynga later opened a studio in Istanbul and made further acquisitions, paying $250 million for Gram Games, the Turkish developers behind hugely popular puzzle titles.

This helped kickstart an ecosystem of leading hyper-casual gaming studios, with the likes of Good Job Games, Ruby Games, Alictus, Rollic Games and Bigger Games all launching in the region over the past two years and being responsible for some of the United States’ most popular and most downloaded games.

Dream Games is hoping its seed round investment, coupled with this thriving ecosystem, will help attract top talent to join the gaming industry in Turkey.

Michael Cheung, Partner at Makers Fund said: “Casual puzzle games are some of the most successful and long-lasting titles in the industry, with recent successes showing there’s further room for growth. The Dream Games team’s achievements speak to a dedication and devotion to cracking the genre; together with their focus on Istanbul, a city we believe will be the next major hub for gaming. We’re honoured to be supporting them early in their journey.”

Rob Moffat, Partner at Balderton Capital said: “Our thesis in mobile games is very simple, to invest in the very best teams. We were blown away by the intensity, ability and cohesiveness of the Dream Games founding team. Their experience in building two of the most successful casual games of the last few years really stands out. At Balderton, we have been lucky enough to invest in several success stories in mobile casual games (Big Fish, Wooga, Natural Motion) and we believe Dream Games could be even bigger than these.”

 

Industry News

Casino Technology Rebrands as CT Gaming

Niji Narayan

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Casino Technology Rebrands as CT Gaming
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Casino Technology has announced its rebranding and name change. CT Gaming will be the new brand name of Casino Technology as of January 1, 2020.

The change is driven by the company’s growth, expanded innovations and its desire to better reflect its commitment to be at the forefront of the ever-changing technology environment and customer demands.

“As we marked 20 years in business this year, we recognised the need to better communicate our vision for the next period. Building on our core and looking into the future objective to embrace innovation and focus on the new generation of players, it was clear that rebranding was in order. The new name mirrors our constant drive to improve and be in the van of unleashing unconventional concepts and shaping trends. Our team embraced the rebranding decision enthusiastically and are charged with new ideas, commitment and motivation to deliver the best of their expertise,” Milo Borissov, founder and president of the company said.

“CT Gaming represents the evolution in our company, reflecting and merging our genesis into this new era. We will continue to strive to deliver the best customer services and bring excellence at all levels to our partners and customers, solidifying loyal and meaningful relationships that shape our industry’s tomorrow,” Rossi McKee, vice president of the company said.

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Industry News

Europe’s Online Gambling Market Grows 11% in 2018

Niji Narayan

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Europe’s Online Gambling Market Grows 11% in 2018
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Europe’s online gambling market has shown an impressive growth last year.

According to the market data published by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) in partnership with H2 Gambling Capital, Europe’s online gambling market grew 11% from €20 billion GGR in 2017 to €22.2 billion GGR in 2018.

According to the new data, EGBA members had 16.5 million active customers and generated €5.41 billion in online gambling GGR in 2018. The UK market (34.2%) accounted for the largest portion of the total EU online gambling market, with a market value of €7.3 billion GGR.

Sports betting was the most popular online gambling activity with 42.5% of the total EU market share (worth €9.4 billion GGR), followed by casino games at 32.4% (€7.2 billion GGR), lottery at 12.6% (€2.8 billion GGR), poker at 5% (€1.1 billion GGR), bingo at 4.3% (€1 billion GGR), and other games with a 3.2% market share (€0.7 billion GGR).

As per the new data, 57% of online bets were placed from a desktop computer, while 43% of online bets were placed from phones and tablets – up from 39% in 2017 and highlighting a shift towards the use of mobile devices.

“Europe’s online gambling market continues to show a strong demand-driven growth and a switch to mobile devices. But its increased popularity reinforces the need for more consistent and strong consumer protections and industry standards across all EU countries. The current situation of diverging and sometimes conflicting regulations in EU countries is detrimental to consumers, authorities and operators alike,” Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA said.

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Industry News

Grand Casino Baden Chooses SafeCharge, a Nuvei company, to Power Payments for Its Online Platform

George Miller

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Grand Casino Baden Chooses SafeCharge, a Nuvei company, to Power Payments for Its Online Platform
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

One of Switzerland’s first licensed online casinos leveraging SafeCharge’s best-in-class payments technology for its iGaming service

SafeCharge, a Nuvei company, announces it has partnered with leading Swiss operator Grand Casino Baden to process credit card payments for its digital gaming platform jackpots.ch, developed by Gamanza. The collaboration provides Grand Casino Baden, a pioneer in online regulated gaming in the region, the ability to better address the needs of a growing audience of online gamers.

Earlier this year, Switzerland’s Federal Gaming Commission (ESBK) made the decision to regulate the country’s online gambling market, allowing Swiss land-based casinos to operate online. SafeCharge offers Visa and Mastercard acquiring services issued by Swiss banks, and through a single API integration that connects to over 180 payment methods, including local favorite Post Finance, enables jackpots.ch players the flexibility to pay through the method of their choice.

By utilising SafeCharge Cashier, Grand Casino Baden benefits from a frictionless payment experience for its online customers, delivering seamless deposits and withdrawals, plus compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) laws. SafeCharge handles the safeguarding of sensitive information, descoping the casino’s PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) liability. Further, by integrating with SafeCharge Cashier, Grand Casino Baden aims to increase its readiness for complying with the EU’s revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) strong customer authentication (SCA) requirements.

“We knew that we had to partner with a technology player with the highest credentials and the ability to support our business within an extremely complex market, outside of EU legislations,” said Marcel Tobler, chief financial officer at Grand Casino Baden. “SafeCharge has been our preferred choice thanks to its proven track-record in the industry and unrivalled experience in fraud prevention and AML.”

“We are delighted to be working with the team at Grand Casino Baden to provide payments for its rapidly growing iGaming operation,” stated Yuval Ziv, MD of SafeCharge and head of global acquiring. “This partnership marked our entrance into the Swiss online gaming market, and we are excited at the prospect of our payments technology platform better servicing the region’s customers. As demonstrated by our long-standing collaborations with multiple tier 1 gaming operators, our solution is the ideal choice for institutions who require navigating the regulatory complexities of local markets without compromising user experience.”

Through this partnership, SafeCharge has displayed it is well-positioned to address the needs of the rapidly growing Swiss online gaming market. Fore more information about SafeCharge Cashier, click here.

 

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