How the 'acqui-hire' trend could reshape the mobile app segment


When game developer PlayFirst purchased mobile ad firm Big Head Mode last month, many outlets reported the deal as an "acqui-hire" instead of a conventional merger or acquisition. The term acqui-hire also has popped up in app deals involving Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Twitter and many other big names. It's more than an issue of semantics: Those who follow the mobile space closely say the growing number of acqui-hires--where a firm is bought up not necessarily to get the app but more for the developer behind it--could have a big impact on the competitive landscape for apps and provide an indication of what skills will most likely make developers successful.

"In general, the interactive media and the entertainment space is ripe for an acqui-hire approach," says Joel Capperella, vice-president of marketing at Philadelphia-based staffing agency Yoh. "The disruption in the industry in the form of streaming, mobile device adoption in the gaming space and product distribution is driving demand for specific skill sets, such as mobile operating system development." Feature