Big news! iCandy Interactive, the huge Australian studio behind mobile hits like Crab War, Masketeers, and Claw Stars, has acquired Lemon Sky, the highly regarded game and animation studio based in Malaysia. As a result, iCandy is officially the largest pure-play game studio throughout Australia and Southeast Asia, with 450 employees and revenue of A$17 million a year. The acquisition is valued at a massive A$44.5 million, fulfilled with cash and new shares. This is a pretty big deal if you’re an iCandy investor or a keen follower of the Australian Stock Exchange. But it’s also a big deal if you like mobile games. iCandy and Lemon Sky, whose teams will be fully integrated over time, have some ambitious plans. Not only do they intend to expand regionally, but they’ve set their sights on the casual market, the AAA market, the metaverse, and the brave new world of blockchain gaming. What are they? Well, the blockchain is a sort of digital ledger that allows gamers to own unique in-game items. These items can potentially be used across multiple games, traded, and sold for breathtaking sums of money. The metaverse, meanwhile, is a term for an emerging virtual universe consisting of virtual reality, augmented reality, and conventional technology, where users can drop in, hang out, and generally exist in a parallel digital dimension. iCandy chairman Kin W. Lau calls it, “the most important development for the gaming world”. It’s the future, and iCandy has just staked a massive claim in this bold new frontier. And the company has certainly earned its stake. Games on the iCandy network – which consists of subsidiaries like Appxplore, Inzen Studio, Joyseed Gametribe, and others – are played by more than 360 million mobile gamers worldwide. Between them these regional studios have amassed a ton of awards, including Google’s Best Play of 2016 and a New Android Excellent Games Award in 2017. Lemon Sky, meanwhile, has a long list of AAA credits, having worked with studios like Blizzard, Naughty Dog, Square Enix, and countless other giants of the games industry, on games like Overwatch 2, Diablo 3, and StarCraft: Remastered. We’re expecting big things, and so should you.