WinZO, a social gaming and interactive entertainment platform, announced on June 21 that it has acquired a majority stake in Gurugram-based game development studio Upskillz Games.
While the acquisition terms were not disclosed, WinZO stated that it was an all-cash transaction.
With this acquisition, WinZO will add Upskillz's blockchain and Web3-based offerings to its content portfolio, as well as its 1.3 million captive audience base, to its platform.
The startup also stated that it will work closely with the Upskillz team from the concept stage of new game development and will contribute technical expertise and resources to this initiative. Mannit Sidhu founded Upskillz Games in December 2020.
WinZO has previously invested in game development studios such as Bengaluru-based Bombay Play, UK-based Village Studio, and IndiGG, the India sub-decentralised autonomous organisation (subDAO) of Philippine play-to-earn gaming guild Yield Guild Games (YGG). These investments were made via the company's $26 million game development fund.
"Today, India is on the verge of a global gaming revolution, and with the help of great partners like Upskillz, WinZO is committed to unlocking the latent potential of the Indian game development industry and establishing India as the rightful leader of this $100 billion global mobile gaming market. We are excited to collaborate with the Upskillz team to bring world-class gaming titles to our users and the rest of the world "Paavan Nanda, co-founder of WinZO, stated.
WinZO, whose investors include Griffin Gaming Partners and Makers Fund, claims to have a portfolio of over 100 games spanning six genres, including casual, e-sports, fantasy, and quizzes. With over 80 million registered users, these games are available in over 12 languages, including English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, and Bhojpuri. It collaborates with outside developers to host games on their Android and iOS apps.
The blockchain and non-fungible token (NFT)-based gaming segment has seen significant activity in the country over the last year and is expected to be one of the sector's key trends in 2022. This move is also expected to improve game developers' monetization opportunities.
Among those interested in the Web3 gaming space is Dream11 parent Dream Sports, which led a $120 million investment in Cricket NFT platform Rario via its corporate venture and M&A arm.
Nazara Technologies, a BSE-listed company, has also announced plans to develop a Web3 cricket offering, while nCore Games recently raised $10 million in funding to expand its properties into metaverse and NFTs, as well as launch new Web3 and play-to-earn games.
WazirX co-founder Siddharth Menon collaborated with Pune-based game development firm SuperGaming to launch Tegro, a Web3 game ecosystem marketplace, in February.