FremantleMedia invests in Canadian casual video games company

MUMBAI: FremantleMedia has acquired a minority equity investment in Ludia, a developer and publisher of interactive casual games based in Montreal, Canada.

The deal is part of FremantleMedia’s ongoing expansion into the high-growth video games market. It also follows a range of new growth initiatives by the company’s new business unit, FremantleMedia Ventures, and represents the division’s first equity investment.

“Ludia has rapidly carved out a unique position in the competitive video games market by combining a strong focus on quality, exceptional technology and a multiplatform strategy. The company’s leadership team is outstanding and has a strong track record in the industry,” said FremantleMedia’s director Operations and Strategy Christian Schneider-Sickert, who will be joining Ludia’s board.

FremantleMedia’s cash and rights investment will enable Ludia to further expand its portfolio of branded, IP-led casual games and to broaden its international business outside of North America. FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) already licenses formats such as American Idol, The Price is Right and Press Your Luck to Ludian.

Ludia recently debuted The Price is Right game for PCs, gaming consoles and the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.

“FremantleMedia has a wealth of intellectual property with qualities that will not only translate brilliantly into games, but that also are highly relevant in different markets," said Ludia president Alex Thabet. "We look forward to working together to expand Ludia’s business to bring more exciting game experiences to consumers world-wide.”

FremantleMedia Enterprises North America vice pesident Olivier Delfosse said, “FremantleMedia Enterprises already has a substantial licensing business in the broader games market. This investment will deepen our relationship with Ludia, allowing us greater insight into the exciting interactive casual games sector while expanding our role in extending our shows onto new platforms and opening Ludia’s capabilities to FremantleMedia’s global licensing teams.”

The casual segment of the interactive games market is thought to be worth $2.25 billion, according to the Casual Games Association and is expected to grow by 20% year over year for established markets. Ludia has established itself as a leader in the space, creating games with wide appeal that can be played on an increasing number of platforms.