EA acquires Gamefly’s cloud gaming technology & talent

Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts Inc. has acquired the cloud gaming technology assets and personnel of a wholly owned subsidiary of video game rental company GameFly, Inc. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Los Angeles-headquartered GameFly acquired Israel-based cloud gaming company Playcast Media Systems in 2015. The team will join EA’s functional teams, including the central technology organisation that is responsible for developing and operating the cutting-edge platform that powers EA’s leading games and services.

Cloud gaming opens up new possibilities to expand the reach of games by streaming high-quality entertainment to more players, on more devices, in more geographic regions of the world. With this acquisition, EA is adding to its strategic focus on advanced technologies that will give players more freedom to access the games they want, and enable the delivery of next-generation experiences at scale.

Ken Moss, Chief Technology Officer of Electronic Arts, said, “Cloud gaming is an exciting frontier that will help us to give even more players the ability to experience games on any device from anywhere. We’re thrilled to bring this talented team’s expertise into EA as we continue to innovate and expand the future of games and play.”

USA, Redwood City, CA & Israel, Caesarea

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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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Scientific Games acquires 10.72% of NYX Gaming Group

Scientific GamesScientific Games Corporation has acquired ownership of 11,600,000 ordinary shares of NYX Gaming Group Limited, representing approximately 10.72% of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of NYX. The acquired shares were purchased through the facilities of the TSX Venture Exchange at prices ranging from CAD$2.22 to CAD$2.35 per share, representing an aggregate purchase price of CAD$27,054,565. The transaction will be financed with cash on hand and debt. It represents a 112 percent premium to NYX’s closing stock price on September 19, 2017; and the transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings and cash flow in the first year and leverage neutral at closing.

NYX is a digital gaming provider with a staff of more than 1,000 employees globally, including more than 600 engineers and has more than 200 unique customers.

The award-winning NYX OGS™ (Open Gaming System), which allows licensees to leverage the best-of-breed, multi-vendor casino content from around the world, is acknowledged to be the industry’s market-leading gaming offering. From its own studios and a broad partner network of innovative third party suppliers, NYX offers customers the widest portfolio of content available, with access to more than 2,000 game titles, via OGS™.

Kevin Sheehan, Scientific Games’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “This important transaction creates a global gaming and lottery powerhouse. Scientific Games will be a stronger industry leader offering one of the broadest end-to-end portfolios of engaging content, innovative technologies and digital products and services across gaming and lottery”.

USA, Las Vegas, NV

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XLMedia acquires un-named Scandinavian website network

XLMediaJersey based XLMedia, a provider of digital performance marketing services, has acquired an un-named Scandinavian website network within the online gaming sector for $2.3 million in cash.

The company said that the network reviews a large number of online casino and poker websites, mainly in Denmark, generating “high value added content”.  The acquisition provides a geographic footprint to XLMedia’s existing Scandinavian presence and extending its reach into Denmark, a fully regulated market.

The acquisition follows two acquisitions of domains in the North American market during H1 2014, also aimed at extending into new territories and further establishing a presence in fully regulated markets.

The Group said it will continue to buy domains and websites as part of its ongoing growth strategy as well as continuing to evaluate an increased presence in fully regulated markets.

Commenting on the acquisition, CEO, Ory Weihs said, “Since our IPO in March this year, we have continued to make good progress with positioning XLMedia to capitalise on the significant growth opportunities in the online gaming sector. This acquisition represents a complementary fit for our business, strengthening our reach in Scandinavia and providing entry into Denmark, a fully regulated territory.”

UK, St Helier, Jersey