Scientific Games continues M&A spree with deal for ELK Studios

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Scientific Games has completed the acquisition of slots developer ELK Studios in an undisclosed deal designed to bolster its capacity for creating innovative iGaming content.

Stockholm-based ELK Studios was established in 2013 and has released games such as Wild Toro II, Katmandu and Cygnus, as well as developing the ‘X-iter’ mechanic to help differentiate its product portfolio. 

While ELK games were already available on Scientific Games’ OpenGaming platform via a strategic partnership, SG said the purchase would allow it to expand ELK’s iGaming content into the US and Canadian markets, while further enhancing its position in the UK and Europe.

ELK will also benefit from Scientific Games’ range of resources, including commercial scale, market expansion, support in North America, game IP and data analytics tools.

“Acquiring ELK Studios demonstrates once again our commitment to make targeted, value enhancing investments designed to advance our cross-platform content capabilities,” said Barry Cottle, president and CEO of Scientific Games. 

“The ELK Studios team is packed with talent and enhances our existing in-house teams and capabilities. The highly synergistic combination of their top-ranked games and our leading OpenGaming ecosystem offers exciting distribution opportunities in the US and Canada. I am thrilled to welcome them to our team,” he added. 

The acquisition marks the latest deal by Scientific Games, in line with the business’ strategy of developing its iGaming content offering and production capabilities with a view to becoming the industry’s leading cross-platform content supplier.

In August, the supplier acquired Sydney-based slot developer Lightning Box, and subsequently made its way into the live casino distribution business just last month after sewing up a deal for Malta-based Authentic Gaming.

Filip Säfbeck, CEO at ELK Studios, said: “This deal is the fruit of many years of hard work by a team that is fully committed to crafting high-quality online gaming experiences.

“We see it as the perfect time to join the Scientific Games team, given that our ambitions to grow through innovation and into the US and Canada are in total alignment. 

“We have experienced first-hand through our OpenGaming partnership that Scientific Games can take our games to the next level. This acquisition offers us a solid base to bring to market a wide range of exciting new slots more smoothly than ever to online casino partners across the globe,” he added. 

Q3 results published last month proved Scientific Games was making strong progress in North America, with revenue from US markets growing 109% year-on-year.

Excluding its sold-off or for-sale lottery and sports betting businesses, the group saw total revenue from continuing operations increase by 24.8% in the third quarter to $539m.

About the author

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Conor Mulheir

Conor entered the gaming industry in 2018 producing high-level live event content for audiences in London, Amsterdam and São Paulo. From 2020, he went on to report news and commission exclusive content for various gaming media brands before joining iGaming NEXT as editor in January 2022.

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