Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Apaja Co-operates With Sulake - Prelude to PlayRay Becoming Part of Sulake Inc?

From Asmo Halinen's blog about "Co-operation with Sulake June 28, 2008 – 11:22 pm;
We have just started an interesting co-operation together with Sulake and its social networking service IRC-Galleria. Part of Aapeli’s online gaming catalogue is now accessible straight from IRC-Galleria as well. The players from IRC-Galleria and from Aapeli end up in the same gaming space, with IRC-Galleria based users marked with their own unique G-icon in the gaming lobbies. The collaboration has received a good acceptance from the users and we already have some preliminary plans how to enhance this thing further."

PaymentGuy has heard from insiders Apaja has been looking to shop itself to Sulake for some time now. Maybe this is the first step towards an aquisition - feeling each other out. Sulake, following its bizarre IRC Galleria acquisition, could use a property like Apaja's Playray to boost its portfolio and achieve its goal of an mmog / virtual world publisher. Apaja management is no doubt drooling at the possibility of a Sulake IPO - that has been promised every year for the last 4 years now so we will see - meaning they are likely willing to accept Sulake shares for Playray like the IRC team did rather than cash.

So, the good and bad. GOOD thing is Playray is more compatable to HABBO than IRC. The bad, 1. Sulake's all-Finn management seems to have trouble working with non-Finnish partners or making non-Finnish title / property acquisitions, and 2. it is still an open question whether 3 Finnish small fry can create an industry big fish success like Penguin or Webkinz. Interesting anyway. Stay tuned ...

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