Officials from casual game publisher Oberon Media have announced that the company intends to acquire mobile phone developer and publisher I-Play. At the same time, Oberon Media has also completed a new round of funding from new and existing investors.
The I-play name and brand will be maintained, with no move planned for either company's existing offices and studios. Current I-play CEO David Gosen will also remain as the head of Oberon Media's new mobile games business worldwide.
Oberon Media already publishes its titles on the Web and mobile, as well as a number of early Xbox Live Arcade titles (Bejeweled 2, Zuma Deluxe
). Its mobile division was already boosted in 2006, with the acquisition of developer Blaze
(formally Kayak). Oberon also partners with a number of high profile online portals and ISPs, including MSN Games Network, Pogo.com, ICQ, Verizon Broadband, Orange and Comcast.
No figures were given for Oberon Media's latest round of funding, although it did confirm investors included Goldman Sachs, Oak Investment Partners, Lehman Brothers and others.
"This acquisition strengthens Oberon Media's multi-platform strategy and we are now positioned as the undisputed leader in one of the hottest growth markets: mass-market casual games," said Tomer Ben-Kiki, CEO and co-founder of Oberon Media.
"The acquisition bolsters the mobile arm of the industry's first true casual-game triple play, complementing Oberon Media's existing platform. We are now poised to revolutionize the casual games category, offering our partners access to more than a thousand of the most popular casual games, delivered to their consumers' 'screen of choice': online, mobile and TV", he added.