Merge Inn maker Original Games acquires Mergedom from Bigger Games


Original Games has acquired Mergedom from Bigger Games, can reveal.

Merge Inn maker Original Games is seeking further “roll-up” deals like this as it continues to expand, CEO Arseny Lebedev tells us, as the firm readies the launch of its next game.

Original would not disclose the value of the Mergedom deal, but did confirm that it is acquiring the game alone, and that no developers from Istanbul, Turkey-based Bigger Games will be moving across to Original as part of the deal.

Mergedom has over 12m installs worldwide since it launched in March 2021, says new owner Original Games.

After Mergedom, Original Games is on the lookout for other product acquisitions, suggests CEO Lebedev.

“We intend to build a strong portfolio of casual games, and Mergedom presented a logical strategic fit for us,” Lebedev tells us. “With our experience in merge-two development, monetisation and growth to date, we can see a long roadmap and lifecycle for this title.”

“In the current market, there is definitely an opportunity to reduce risks with development and UA by acquiring games with established audiences and economic traction,” Lebedev continued. “Since the Merge genre is still relatively young compared to Match-3 and others, we see a stronger than usual crossover potential for players as well.”

Lebedev also dismissed the idea that the merge genre is in danger of overheating. “The category is super hot, but we’re still in the stage of educating established puzzle players that there are alternatives with approachable casual core gameplay with deeper mechanics and progression out there,” he said.

“Overheating is a concern for the short-term thinkers, but like any free-to-play games as services, this is a marathon not a sprint. In other words we have a long term strategy with this genre specifically; we’re past the ‘trying it out’ approach that so many newcomers are using.”

Original Games cofounders Arseny Lebedev (ex-MZ) and Ville Heijari (ex-Rovio).

“We are actively looking at additional roll-up opportunities as well as the best timing to release our next casual game,” he added.

CEO of Bigger Games Hakan Ulvan added: “We are confident that Original Games will be a great home for Mergedom and its players. We believe that Original Games’ commitment to quality and innovation will be instrumental in further scaling Mergedom while we laser focus on building our new flagship match-3 title as Bigger Games.”

Original Games is headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia, and was cofounded in 2019 by Alexander Krylov, Arseny Lebedev and Ville Heijari. It is home to ex-MZ, Rovio, Wooga, EA, Easybrain and Crazy Labs staff, among others.

It raised $6m in seed funding in October 2021 in an investment led by Play Ventures that also included King cofounder Riccardo Zacconi, Huuuge Games founder Anton Gauffin and Playfish cofounder, investor and Super Evil Megacorp boss Kristian Segerstrale.

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