‘Coin Master’: How the Addictive, Controversial Israeli Game Raked in a Fortune

Moon Active was going nowhere in the mobile gaming market until in 2016 it released ‘Coin Master,’ a game that became a sensation and generated billions of dollars. So why isn’t the company a source of unbridled pride in Startup Nation?

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Sagi Cohen
Sagi Cohen
Sagi Cohen
Sagi Cohen

For several years after it was founded in 2011, Moon Active was a small but not particularly successful mobile gaming company. Few people had heard of it, and in truth there was little reason to know about it. It had a handful of employees, operating out of a third-floor apartment in an old building in central Tel Aviv, and had released a couple of smartphone games that didn’t really take off. It was also being ignored by investors, who weren’t particularly interested in the gaming field at the time. The company was going nowhere.

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