The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed and the acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals. But the price will be very interesting to discover, because Machine Zone has generated $ 5 billion on more than 310 million downloads throughout its history, according to the measurement company Sensor Tower.
Machine Zone joins the AppLovin global ecosystem of mobile games from partner studios that includes Redemption Games, PeopleFun, Belka Games, Clipwire Games, Firecraft Studios and Geewa, as well as its internal Lion Games studio. Based in Palo Alto, California, AppLovin has made strategic investments in game studios since 2018, but it is probably its biggest contract to date.
Machine Zone, based in Palo Alto, debuted in 2008 to create mobile games, and its founders are Gabe Leydon, Halbert Nakagawa and Mike Sherrill. It had huge success with the ambitious Game of War: Fire Age in 2012. It was not praised for its excellent gameplay, but the game was addictive for strategy players who enjoyed playing with other players in the clans. Machine Zone followed with similar reskins from this game such as Mobile Strike in 2015 and Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire in 2017.
Leydon left the company in 2018 to focus on the cryptocurrency market. Kristin Dumont, appointed chief operating officer in 2015, took over the general management. Sensor Tower said the company’s gross revenue peaked in 2016 at around $ 3.2 billion. One of the tactics that caught the attention of Machine Zone at its peak was to use well-known Hollywood stars like Kate Upton and Mariah Carey
AppLovin said it will combine talent, games and technology with Machine Zone to bring new immersive mobile games to market while continuing to help game developers successfully market and monetize their games. The collaboration will start now and will eventually include AppLovin which will move its headquarters 1.6 km from the Machine Zone office in Palo Alto.
Machine Zone games have introduced massively free multiplayer online mechanisms (MMOs) on mobile. He also developed a proprietary real-time engagement (RTE) engine. For a while he tried to run this engine to power mobile networks in real time like the transportation system in New Zealand. Leydon renamed the company MZ to reflect the change in real-time networking technology.
But this business did not expand and Machine Zone (renamed again) refocused on games under Dumont. Machine Zone recently started testing Crystalborne, but the game has yet to be launched in its own right. The company’s most popular game to date remains Game of War: Fire Age, which has generated more than $ 3 billion, said Sensor Tower. Game 2 is Mobile Strike, which featured Arnold Schwarzennegger, with $ 1.4 billion generated since its launch in 2015. Final Fantasy XV: A new empire, based on the license of Square Enix, has raised $ 760 million, according to Sensor Tower.
The acquisition of Machine Zone represents a significant step forward for AppLovin, which started in 2012 as a mobile marketing company. He changed radically in 2018 with the opening of his internal game studio, Lion Studios, in 2018.