02 Jun 2021 1:53 PM +00:00

GTA Publisher Take-Two Acquires "Top Eleven" Mobile Developer Nordeus for $225 Million

Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive has further solidified its approach to mobile gaming after buying up Nordeus, a Serbia-based developer known for the long-running Top Eleven mobile football management game.

According to Christopher Dring over at Gameindustry.biz, Take-Two is set to purchase the group for around $225 million spread across both cash and shares, but states "the price could rise to $378 million" in the right circumstances. Nordeus management looks to be staying the same, with CEO Branko Milutinović simply reporting to Take-Two's Senior VP and mobile head Nir Efrat in the future.

With the acquisition, Take-Two are set to take on the Europe-focused football market--something the company has struggled to penetrate due to its strong US sports game focus with titles like NBA 2K and WWE.

"Top Eleven is enormously popular in Europe, South East Asian and Latin America," said Take-Two's Michael Worosz, remarking that while there's a comparatively small audience for the football-focused games in the United States, Take-Two are "experts at talking to that audience."

The deal appears to not only be a way for Take-Two to break into the European sports market, but for both firms to enter the Chinese market, where mobile gaming performance is especially strong.

The acquisition comes not long after Take-Two president Karl Slatoff reiterated the firm's commitment to the mobile space at the company's Q3 2020 earnings call back in February, stating increased investment in the space and plans to bring its "core franchises" to mobile in the future.

The group acquired Dragon City developer Socialpoint in 2017 and other big-name mobile group Playdots just last year.