Gfinity plc acquires RealSM Limited, owner of RealSport

GFinityGfinity plc, a leading international esports entertainment group, has acquired the entire issued share capital of RealSM Limited, owner of the fan-oriented digital sports media platform, RealSport, for a total consideration for approximately £2.4 million, to be settled wholly in new shares in Gfinity. The acquisition will be paid for by issuing 12.3 million Gfinity shares at 19.317 pence each. The share price was the average closing price over the last 15 days prior to the deal being announced.

Founded in January 2016, RealSport’s platform features original content, including news documentaries, podcasts, analysis and opinions. The company has rapidly built an online user base of more than half a million active monthly users with esports currently accounting for over 40% of all traffic on its website. Gfinity will use the RealSport platform alongside its own to build the esports community.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Gfinity will integrate RealSport’s online real estate into its business operations. Gfinity will also acquire the services of the team of seven key employees including the co-founders, Roei Samuel and Scott Hurst, together with their network of contributors, who have driven the rapid growth in the RealSport digital platform.

Gfinity Chief Executive Officer Neville Upton said, ”RealSport has done a great job of building a “go-to” hub for the esports community. They have a very talented team whose expertise in building a digital community will be very valuable to Gfinity. This deal will further help Gfinity continue to drive awareness and engagement in Gfinity and Elite Series brands. We believe this will accelerate Gfinity’s plans to monetise our digital assets and will greatly increase the value of our proposition to our prospective commercial partners.”

UK, London

Bethesda acquires BattleCry Studios

BethesdaBethesda Softworks has acquired fellow ZeniMax Media subsidiary BattleCry Studios, now branded Bethesda Game Studios Austin. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

This growth will mark the second studio expansion since the founding of Bethesda’s in-house game studio in 2001 and the newest addition since Bethesda Game Studios Montreal in late 2015. The Texas-based studio will be led by Studio Director Doug Mellencamp. BattleCry Studios, which was formed in 2012 as a subsidiary of Zenimax Media, is responsible for the shelved free-to-play title of the same name, described as a “multiplayer online action combat game” by former executive producer and president Rich Vogel. The project was suspended in October 2015 in favour of other endeavours, and the studio went on to aid Id Software with post-release content for the multiplayer mode of DOOM.

Mellencamp said, “We’re excited to join Bethesda Game Studios and look forward to working together on some of the industry’s most exciting new games. Austin’s incredible game development scene and talent will also allow us to push our games further than fans have imagined.”

USA, Rockville, MD & Austin, TX

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Ubisoft acquires Blue Mammoth Games studio

UbisoftFollowing its acquisition of 1492 Studio earlier this week, Ubisoft has acquired the video game development studio Blue Mammoth Games. With the acquisition, Ubisoft adds Brawlhalla, currently the most played fighting game on Steam, to its portfolio and bolsters its online expertise. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Blue Mammoth Games is based near Atlanta, Georgia, and is comprised of 21 talented team members, including founders Matthew Woomer and Lincoln Hamilton, who have a multiplayer online background. The studio developed and published Brawlhalla, a free-to-play online brawler that is among the top free-to-play games on PS4.

Laurent Detoc, President of Ubisoft NCSA, said, “The team at Blue Mammoth Games is expert at developing and running scalable, competitive, multiplayer online games, and they’ll be a great addition to Ubisoft’s network of studios. With Brawlhalla, we’re getting a hugely popular and highly-profitable title that aligns with our strategy of expanding our audience and providing players with long-lasting, entertaining gaming experiences.”

France, Rennes & USA, Atlanta, GA

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Ubisoft acquires 1492 Studio

UbisoftVideo game publisher Ubisoft has acquired 1492 Studio, a game development studio specialised in the development of free-to-play episodic and interactive stories on mobile. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2014 and based near Montpellier, France, the team at 1492 Studio created the successful mobile franchise “Is it Love?”, a series of interactive dramas in which a player’s choices shape their storyline, determine their discoveries and deepen their relationships in the game. The game is one of the top five grossing mobile simulation games in France and one of the top 20 in the U.S..

Jean-Michel Detoc, executive director of Ubisoft Mobile , said, “‘Is It Love?’ already is one of the leaders in episodic, narrative-driven mobile games, with a highly-engaged community of players. This deal is in keeping with our strategy of reaching new audiences through smart, targeted, and highly profitable acquisitions.”

France, Rennes & Vailhauquès

ReedPOP acquires Gamer Network

ReedpopReed Exhibitions’ games and pop culture live events division ReedPOP is adding Gamer Network and its portfolio of events, websites, and video channels to its portfolio. The addition of Gamer Network marks ReedPOP’s first expansion beyond the event production business. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Gamer Network is home to editorial and community websites and YouTube channels, including flagship brands Eurogamer, RockPaperShotgun, GamesIndustry.biz, VG247, Outside Xbox, Digital Foundry and USgamer. The company also organises the UK’s biggest games event, EGX and the world class indie games event, EGX Rezzed.

The combination of the two portfolios gives ReedPOP the opportunity to combine its live games events across four continents with a worldwide online community of over 50 million monthly users.

Lance Fensterman, global head of ReedPOP said, “Gamer Network is one of the world’s leading voices for gamers and gaming culture. The opportunity to be in business with Rupert Loman and the brands, events and team he has created is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Bringing ReedPOP and Gamer Network together, PAX and EGX together – these are the kinds of mash ups you dream of. We are beyond excited to dream up new concepts that will blow the minds of fans all over the world.”

USA, Norwalk, CT & UK, Brighton

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THQ Nordic AB acquires Koch Media GmbH

THQ NordicTHQ Nordic is to acquire 100 percent of the share capital in Koch Media. The total consideration amounts to EUR 121 million on a cash and debt free basis, equivalent to an equity value of EUR 91.5 million. EUR 82 million will be paid in cash and financed by current cash and bank balance. The remaining part of the consideration, amounting to EUR 9.5 million will be paid by consideration shares at a price per share which is based on the volume weighted average price of the company’s shares on Nasdaq First North during the twenty trade days preceding the signing date (14th February), i.e. SEK 95.44. Thus, the consideration shares will comprise 987,965 B shares.

Koch Media is a leading, independent producer and marketer of digital entertainment products in Europe and North America with studios in Germany, the UK, and the US, and offices in several Central and Northern European cities. Koch Media’s business consists of three business areas; i) Games, which are mainly published under the Deep Silver label with several AAA-intellectual property rights such as Saints Row, Dead Island and Metro; ii) Partner Publishing, which is the leading company in this business area in Europe and iii) Film, which is a business within movies for primarily the German- and Italian-speaking territories.

Koch Media generated net sales of approximately SEK 2,548 million and adjusted EBIT of approximately SEK 296 million for the period April – December 2017. The new group generated pro forma net sales and adjusted EBIT for the period April – December 2017 of SEK 2,933 million and SEK 505 million, respectively.

Lars Wingefors, CEO of THQ Nordic, said, “Koch Media has a long history of profitability despite losses incurred from some less successful game releases. THQ Nordic is convinced that the development studios of Deep Silver as part of THQ Nordic will successfully deliver at least four ongoing AAA game projects including Metro Exodus as well as the next Volition Studio AAA release and the next Dambuster Studio AAA release, together with a number of other game development and publishing titles.”

Austria, Vienna & Germany, Planegg

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Viacom acquires online conference VidCon

ViacomAmerican multinational media conglomerate Viacom has acquired VidCon, host of the world’s largest multi-day conference for the global online community.

With more than 30,000 attendees and 80-plus sponsors (including, for many years, Viacom), at its flagship Anaheim event, VidCon has become the largest multi-day conference of its kind and cemented itself as a leading event for the worldwide online video community. And while VidCon has already carried this momentum into events in Amsterdam and Melbourne, Viacom’s global network of platforms and properties give it the resources to further increase that reach both internationally and within the United States.

Jason Jordan, Viacom executive vice president of Multiplatform Strategy and Operations, said, “VidCon has become the foremost gathering place for the passionate online video community, and the access to talent, experts and education that VidCon provides for attendees is unparalleled. We’re excited to partner with the team to help achieve their vision and expand VidCon’s reach around the world while maintaining the grassroots energy and authenticity that makes the experience so unique and special to so many.”

USA, New York, NY & Missoula, MT

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