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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Pokémon GO creator Niantic acquires AR startup Escher Reality

NianticThe company behind Pokémon GO, Niantic, has acquired augmented reality startup Escher Reality. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Escher Reality builds backend services for cross-platform mobile AR so users can interact with each other and objects in the environment. The startup offered functionality for shared experiences that was absent in both Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit. The startup’s investors include Uncork Capital, Founders Fund, Y Combinator, Liquid 2 Ventures, Webb Investment Network, iRobot Ventures, Presence Capital, Into Ventures and others.

Niantic CEO John Hanke said, “The addition of the Escher AR technology is incredibly exciting to us at Niantic as it significantly accelerates our work on persistent, shared AR as part of the Niantic real-world application platform. It’s our intention to make our cross-platform AR technology available more widely to developers later this year.”

Niantic is releasing its next big AR title Harry Potter Wizards Unite this year.

USA, San Francisco & Sunnyvale, CA

Sumo Digital acquires CCP Games’ Newcastle studio

Sumo digitalSumo Digital, part of the independent game developer Sumo Group plc, has acquired CCP Games’ Newcastle studio for an undisclosed fee.

The Icelandic CCP Games, founded in 1997, is a virtual-reality games developer, best known for its flagship multiplayer title EVE: Valkyrie.

Paul Porter, Managing Director of Sumo Digital said, “Sumo is interested in all platforms for interactive entertainment, including VR. Although we’re not yet announcing what the Newcastle studio is working on, their proven skills and experience in VR is a great addition for Sumo.”

UK, Sheffield & Iceland, Reykjavik

Keywords Studios acquires games developer Sperasoft

keywords

Keywords Studios, an international technical services provider to the global video games industry, has acquired Russian game development business Sperasoft from the founders Igor Efremov, Alexei Kudriashov and Mark Rizzo.
The total consideration is $27 million. Keywords Studios are paying $22 million in cash, $1 million of which is deferred until the first anniversary of the acquisition. The remainder will be paid through the issue of new shares, which will be issued to the sellers on the first anniversary of the acquisition.

 

Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Sperasoft provides game development, art creation and software engineering services to video game developers and publishers around the world from its production studios in St Petersburg and Volgograd, Russia and Krakow, Poland. Founded in 2004, Sperasoft employs 400 software engineers and artists. The company offers a full range of services for initial game development as well as developing games in live operations.

Andrew Day, Chief Executive Officer of Keywords Studios, said, “The acquisition of Sperasoft provides us with an entry point into co-development, positioning us as a strategic partner to games developers at the early stages of the games development lifecycle. As games are becoming bigger and are higher definition, game developers are increasingly relying upon co-development arrangements with companies like Sperasoft to provide them with broader capability to develop both initial games and additional content and features post launch.”

USA, Santa Clara, CA & Ireland, Dublin

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Zynga acquires Spooky Cool Labs

ZyngaZynga has acquired Spooky Cool Labs, a Chicago based game studio focused on developing real-money online slot games. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

spookycoolZynga’s chief revenue officer Barry Cottle said, “We have a legacy in social casino franchises with Zynga Poker, and we believe that free-to-play social casino games for the Web and on mobile have the potential to reach and connect a much broader audience,”

Joe Kaminkow, founder of Spooky Cool, said “When we founded Spooky Cool Labs, we used to dream that someday we would be so good that an innovative company, like Zynga, would notice. Today is that day. We are proud to now be a part of the Zynga team and are confident that we bring a particular excellence in game development to the social casino genre. We are excited about our games which are fun to play and that include leading licensed content that resonate with players worldwide.”

The Spooky Cool team will stay in Chicago and work with Zynga’s San Francisco-based social casino gaming team. Joe Kamikow will work with Zynga as part of the company’s social casino team. However, he will also continue to lead game design at Aristocrat Leisure Limited, a land-based slots manufacturer based in Australia.

Earlier this month Zynga announced substantial cost reductions, including reducing its workforce by approximately 520 employees or approximately 18% of its global workforce.

USA, San Francisco, CA & Chicago, IL

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SGN acquires mobile games developer Mob Science

logo-sgn-silverSGN (Social Gaming Network), a cross-platform mobile games developer, has acquired Mob Science. The deal will include Mob Science’s full game portfolio, including its most popular title Legends: Rise of a Hero, adding more than 50M users to the SGN network.

“Mob Science is a proven game development company with collectively over 75 years of experience in top-tier mobsciencesocial game creation,” said Chris DeWolfe, CEO and Founder of SGN. “Both SGN and Mob Science stand for quality, enabling us to continue our strategic growth and market expansion.”

Mob Science’s team will stay in their Carlsbad, CA offices as the newest extension of SGN. More recruitment and strategic acquisitions will be slated for announcement later this year.

USA, Los Angeles, CA & Carlsbad, CA

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