Oberon, Maker of Casual Games and Platforms, Scores $20M Investment, Chinese Partnership

Things are really heating up in the casual games business. Today, Hong Kong-based Infinity Equity announced it has invested $20 million in Oberon Media, a major developer of casual games and gaming platforms. Oberon is based in New York, but has a publishing office in Seattle called I-Play. The news comes on the heels of last month’s $83 million financing of Seattle-based Big Fish Games (which was led by U.K.-based Balderton Capital), which seems to reinforce the strength and global reach of the Seattle-area gaming cluster.

Oberon is known for building gaming platforms, including billing and advertising tools, as well as publishing and distributing casual games across various online, mobile, and interactive TV platforms. Oberon acquired I-Play in 2007, which led Oberon to merge its Seattle-based game studio (Oberon Games) into the I-Play publishing division. Earlier this year, local gaming guru Don Ryan, who oversaw Oberon’s Seattle office, moved to New York and was promoted to chief operating officer.

Now it appears Oberon is making a play for China’s exploding casual-gaming market, which currently stands at 50 million users and $2 billion in annual sales, according to Infinity Equity. It will be interesting to see whether the company’s Seattle office plays a role in building relationships overseas. “Expanding our business into China is an important part of Oberon Media’s global strategy,” said Tal Kerret, chairman of Oberon, in a statement. “This new partnership will serve as an asset for extending our pursuits there and establishing an Oberon Media presence on the ground.”

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