Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure has acquired Israeli mobile- and browser-based games publisher Plarium Global for $500 million in cash, it was announced today.

Plarium’s product line includes the top-grossing “Vikings: War of Clans.” The company has more than 250 million registered users across 150 countries.

Screenshot from Vikings: War of Clans. Image courtesy of Plarium

Founded in 2009 in Herzliya, Plarium employs about 1,200 people in Israel, Russia, Ukraine and Michigan (US). Plarium CEO and cofounder Avraham Shalel will continue to lead Plarium after the acquisition is completed by the end of this year.

Aristocrat CEO and managing director Trevor Croker said the acquisition allows Aristocrat to expand its hold in the mobile gaming segments of social casino, strategy, casual and role-playing (RPG). “It also provides us a stronger platform to target the US$43.6 billion overall mobile and web games market as growth segments.”

Last November, Gamesauce wrote about the Israeli company: “Plarium started out humbly enough in 2009 on Russia’s social networks with only a poker game and a farming game to its name. Today they are the #1 hardcore game developer on Facebook and a major force on mobile that is continuing to grow quickly. How did Plarium get from one to the other? It all comes down to its content, its employees and its players – with a dash of marketing thrown in.”

Shalel commented about the acquisition deal: “Aristocrat is an ideal partner for us given our common aspiration to be a global leader in social gaming, which will be accelerated through leveraging Aristocrat’s financial, strategic and operational resources.”