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‘Grand Theft Auto’ publisher in $250-mln Spain purchase

Take-Two, the US publisher behind the high-grossing, ultra-violent Grand Theft Auto (GTA), said Wednesday it had acquired Spain’s privately-held Social Point for $250 million, moving firmly into the mobile gaming world.

In a statement, the Nasdaq-listed company said it would pay $175 million (163 million euros) in cash, and the rest in Take-Two shares.

Social Point is a Barcelona-based developer which specialises in games for mobiles.

Founded in 2008 by two young entrepreneurs, it now employs more than 270 people.

Its products include Dragon City, where you build your own city and fill it with dragons, and Monster Legends. According to the statement, the two games have been downloaded more than 180 million times.

“Approximately 50 percent of (Social Point’s) revenue is derived from the United States,” Take-Two said.

“With the acquisition of Social Point, Take-Two has further diversified its business, expanded its portfolio of owned intellectual property, and significantly enhanced its position in the fast-growing free-to-play mobile gaming space,” said Strauss Zelnick, company CEO.

Take-Two’s GTA franchise has won legions of fans and critics alike, with gameplay featuring carjacking, gambling, killing, simulated sex with prostitutes and drunken driving.