The Dutch digital-game marketing firm iQU has acquired game analytics firm HoneyTracks as part of a growing industry consolidation. The deal will help iQU serve game developers and publishers with real-time information that helps them make money in mobile and online gaming.

Reinout te Brake of GameOn/iQU

Above: IQU founder Reinout te Brake.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Acquisitions in the mobile marketing and analytics sectors are heating up. The industry has too many providers of marketing and monetization services, so developers are demanding one-stop shops. Other similar deals include the merger of Kontagent and PlayHaven (now Upsight), Tapjoy’s acquisition of 5Rock, and Unity’s purchase of Playnomics. By combining, iQU and HoneyTracks want to be a survivor and an integrated vendor of many different services.

The price wasn’t disclosed. The Haarlem, The Netherlands-based iQU provides integrated big-data marketing solutions for all game developers of mobile and online games. The Munich, Germany-based HoneyTracks provides game analytics across iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, social, browser and PC/Mac client-based titles.

The combined company’s goal will be to deliver a complete package of real-time solutions across the entire acquisition, retention, and monetization spectrum. Analytics can deliver insights about gamers while the marketing enables a company to target them with money-making proposals. That’s especially important in free-to-play games, where players don’t pay for the game and instead buy virtual goods or currency with real money. By using key data about a gamer, a company can target that person with special offers for retention (keeping them playing the game) and monetization.

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IQU says it can now deliver its clients an overview that ranges from the player’s entry into a game through the entire game lifecycle. The company will now be able to provide an understanding of how each key component — such as player cohorts, virtual goods and level progression –is performing across all channels inside a game.

The firm was founded three years ago to help game developers and publishers monetize their games and acquire more players. Its clients include Electronic Arts, Wargaming, and Kabam. The iQU platform has more than 250 games and 70 million gamers a month. Since its start, iQU says it has delivered more than $1 billion in revenues for its clients.

HoneyTracks has built a software-as-a-service analytics solution for games. It can process huge amounts of in-game data and external data, and it can measure more than 100 metrics in real-time. IQU will work with market data such as App Annie, Nielsen, and NewZoo and user-specific data enrichment sources such as Acxiom and Superdata. It will take that data and target more effective advertising for its clients in real-time bidding.

“The total games market is estimated to be approximately $70-$80 billion annually and growing rapidly. There are hundreds of thousands of active game developers and so the competition for the right players is intense,” iQU founder Reinout te Brake said in a statement. “Acquiring quality players can be quite expensive for developers, particularly on mobile, and not many are generating a positive return on marketing spend.

“With HoneyTracks, We are building on our core vision to bring greater marketing accountability and player insights to our clients. They will now have the ability to view the performance of all their acquisition channels, tweak game mechanics based on deep analytics, launch targeted cross-channel marketing campaigns, and can assess results immediately.”

Jochem de Gruyter, iQU’s CEO, said in a statement, “We are now bringing our current and future clients world class solutions that will help them increase their monetization by bringing in the right players, creating engaging content and increasing in-game events.”

HoneyTracks cofounder Sebastian Lagemann joins iQU as chief technology officer. Other cofounders of HoneyTracks include Mark Gazecki and Tom Sente. One of its investors includes Heiko Hubertz, the founder of game publisher Bigpoint. The combined company will have 32 employees, and it expects to have 40 by mid-September thanks to new hiring.