The move is designed to widen Mag’s reach into casual mobile games and gain access to some great talent, said Daniel Hasselberg, chief executive and co-founder of Mag, in an email to GamesBeat.
Mag’s titles have been downloaded more than 60 million times, including 50 million downloads for Ruzzle. More than 20 billion rounds of Ruzzle have been played to date. The Stockholm-based company launched Ruzzle on mobile in March 2012, and it has reached the No. 1 spot in the puzzle category in numerous countries. That has given the company the financial strength to invest in other studios.
Delinquent has a 12-person team with veterans from PopCap Games, Electronic Arts, Mind Candy, Relentless, and Activision. The leaders have spent time creating efforts such as Peggle, Bejeweled, and Plants vs. Zombies.
“There’s a strong fit between the culture of our studios,” said Hasselberg in an email. “Our plan is to individually and collectively disrupt some of the established genres in casual free to play. The Mag leadership team spent time in the Delinquent studio, hung out with the team, played the game and got a great feeling about what they were planning to achieve.”
He added, “Delinquent pitched us on their ambition to add genuine innovation into game genres we know and love. After spending time with the team and playing early builds of what they’re producing, we believe they can do exactly that.”
David Bishop, chief creative officer and co-founder at Delinquent, said, “I’ve been fortunate to be making games for over 30 years. Every so often you find yourself part of a team that can make magic happen. We had that experience at PopCap and I wanted to recreate that feeling within Delinquent.”
He added, “We had a number of options when raising investment. The Mag proposal made so much sense. They were able to offer us so much more than just the funding.”
The extras? Independence, cross-promotion, and trusted advice, Bishop said.
Hasselberg will join the board of Delinquent, which plans to release its first game in the first quarter. Mag hopes to use the popularity of its own titles and network to push Delinquent’s project higher. Nokia Growth Partners invested $6 million into Mag Interactive back in 2013. Mag has 35 employees.
“In a competitive landscape, it becomes more and more difficult to stand out and be visible and financially successful at the same time,” said Reinout te Brake, an advisor to Mag. “It’s a killer combinatino of two teams.”