iCandy Interactive Limited announced its 100% acquisition of the leading Southeast Asian gaming studio, Lemon Sky Studios. This acquisition adds strategic value and significant scale to iCandy’s existing capabilities. It will form the largest pure-play game development company on the Australian Stock Exchange, and in Australia and Southeast Asia too, with more than 450 employees while generating no less than A$17 million (US$12.36 million) revenue per annum.
With significant interest and best-regarded growth in gaming driven by the metaverse concept, iCandy Interactive and Lemon Sky will be a leading powerhouse through its regional expansion plans in developing casual and AAA gaming on blockchain for the open metaverse.
The metaverse is a virtual world that allows work and play, shared by millions (or billions) of people. It is built with next-generation technology encompassing Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Video and Gaming technologies.
iCandy Interactive’s core business is in game development, game publishing, and esports. The company is the co-founder of the global esports league and platform, Esports Players League (ESPL), fast-growing across 17 countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Latin America and Europe.
Games on the iCandy network are played by over 360 million mobile gamers worldwide. The gaming studios based in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia have won multiple awards, including Google Play’s Best of 2016 and 2017 New Android Excellence Game Award* Games Award for Crab War and other various coveted international events.
Its latest game release, Claw Stars, is a top-rated mobile game with over 1 million downloads since its initial release in July 2021. It has received more than 50,000 4-star and 5-star reviews on Google Play and App Store.
Founded in 2006, Lemon Sky Studios is an award-winning video game and animation studio world-renowned for providing innovative visual art solutions for critically acclaimed
AAA gaming titles ranging from Overwatch 2, Call of Duty – Infinite Warfare, to SimCity, Diablo 3, StarCraft: Remastered, amongst many other illustrious titles.
The studio has amassed an incredible clientele over its 15-year history, working with gaming industry leaders such as Blizzard Entertainment, Naughty Dog, 2K Games, Square-Enix, Bandai Namco, Microsoft Studios, EA Entertainment, Disney and Nickelodeon.
“Lemon Sky Studios is a phenomenal acquisition and an excellent addition to iCandy Interactive. We now have this unparalleled capability in the region, we will focus a fair bit of our newly gained superpower to make high-quality games for the metaverse, arguably the most important development for the gaming world.” says Kin W. Lau, Chairman of iCandy Interactive.
He adds, “Lemon Sky Studios’ track record in creating world-class visuals for AAA games is highly regarded in the industry. To merge our expertise with a studio like Lemon Sky is truly phenomenal, and we cannot wait to see the outcome of integrating our teams,”
“Collaborative partnerships in the creative industry are pertinent to keeping things fresh and innovative. We are positive that this merger will encourage creative working methods and bring about new ideas. We are extremely excited about the possibilities that lie ahead,” said Cheng-Fei Wong, CEO of Lemon Sky Studios.
The acquisition will be at a valuation of MYR135 million (A$44.5 million, US$32.4 million), to be fulfilled together with cash and newly issued iCandy shares.
Concurrent with the acquisition, iCandy has also announced that it has raised A$40 million (US$29.1 million) from institutional investors via a placement that is heavily oversubscribed.
Leading iCandy’s latest fundraising round is another gaming heavy-weight, Animoca Brands, iCandy’s cornerstone investor. Animoca is a global leader in gamification technology and blockchain gaming with an extensive portfolio of over 100 investments in NFT-related companies and decentralised projects contributing to building the open metaverse. They raised more than US$200 million in 2021 and is currently valued by investors at US$2.2 billion. Separately, The Sandbox – Animoca’s subsidiary raised US$93 million recently, in a round led by Softbank Vision Fund 2.
The global video game industry is estimated to be worth A$214.33 billion (US$155.95 billion) in 2020**. With the APAC region leading the industry at 49% of the worldwide market, there is a clear pathway for growth with enormous upside potential expansion.