Scopely Buys FoxNext Games And Cold Iron Games from Disney

Acquisition brings top-grossing mobile game MARVEL Strike Force to Scopely’s diverse portfolio

Scopely  and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today announced that Scopely has agreed to acquire FoxNext Games Los Angeles, the game studio behind the blockbuster hit MARVEL Strike Force, and Cold Iron Studios in San Jose from Disney.

“We have been hugely impressed with the incredible game the team at FoxNext Games has built with MARVEL Strike Force and can’t wait to see what more we can do together,” said Tim O’Brien, Chief Revenue Officer at Scopely. “In addition to successfully growing our existing business, we have been bullish on further expanding our portfolio through M&A, and FoxNext Games’ player-first product approach aligns perfectly with our focus on delivering unforgettable game experiences. We are thrilled to combine forces with their world-class team and look forward to a big future together.”The acquisition will add another top-grossing game to Scopely’s live service portfolio, expand its in-development pipeline, and bring a highly experienced team to Scopely’s business.

MARVEL Strike Force reached $150 million in revenue for 2019

FoxNext Games Los Angeles released its debut title MARVEL Strike Force in March 2018 and it has become one of the top mobile games on iOS and Android, bringing in more than $150 million in its first year. The studio is also developing Avatar: Pandora Rising, a massively multiplayer strategy game based on James Cameron’s Avatar. The acquisition does not include the separate portfolio of Fox IP licensed games titles, which will continue to be a part of Disney’s licensed games business. Disney acquired the FoxNext Games vertical game studios and licensed games titles in its 2019 acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

“I’m extremely proud of what our talented team at FoxNext Games has built and accomplished in just a few years, and look forward to joining forces with the impressive team at Scopely, who have a well-deserved reputation as one of the preeminent companies in the free-to-play games arena,” said Aaron Loeb, FoxNext Games President. Added Amir Rahimi, FoxNext Games Senior Vice President & General Manager: “Both FoxNext Games and Scopely are committed to bringing beloved worlds to life through interactive gaming experiences designed to be played for years to come, and we believe this shared focus, coupled with our businesses’ unique strengths and Scopely’s expertise across multiple game genres, will lead to even greater success in the future.” Upon completion of the transaction, Loeb will join Scopely in a newly created executive role and Rahimi will lead the FoxNext Games Los Angeles studio within Scopely as President, Games.

The acquisition agreement follows a number of recent milestones for Scopely including the achievement of more than $1 billion in lifetime revenue last summer, the acquisition of DIGIT Game Studios and global expansion across Europe, Asia and North America.

LionTree Advisors is acting as financial advisor to Disney, with Moelis & Company acting as financial advisor to Scopely.

About Scopely

Scopely is a global interactive entertainment and mobile games company, home to many top-grossing, award-winning franchises including Star Trek™ Fleet Command, Looney Tunes™ World of Mayhem, WWE Champions, The Walking Dead: Road To Survival™, YAHTZEE® With Buddies and Wheel of Fortune®: Free Play, among others. Scopely creates, publishes and live operates immersive games that empower a directed-by-consumer experience. Founded in 2011, Scopely is fueled by a world-class team and a proprietary technology platform that supports one of the most diversified portfolios in the West. Recognized in Fast Company’s ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’ and #2 on Deloitte’s ‘Technology Fast 500’ as one of the fastest-growing companies in North America, Scopely has achieved more than $1 billion in lifetime revenue by creating long-lasting game experiences. Scopely has global operations in Los Angeles, Barcelona, Boulder, Dublin (DIGIT Games Studios), London and Tokyo, with additional studios in seven countries across four continents. For more information, visit .

 

 

 

Daybreak Games Restructures To Form Three New Studios 

Three New Studios: Dimensional Ink Games, Darkpaw Games and Rogue Planet Games To Focus on Signature Games and Genres from MMORPG to FPS and Superhero Titles

Daybreak Games announced its “Franchise First” initiative in the form of a new business structure that establishes three new individual creative franchise studios:

      Dimensional Ink Games

      Darkpaw Games

      Rogue Planet Games

 

Building on the success of the teams that introduced genre-defining games and franchises including DC Universe Online, EverQuest and PlanetSide, this business model is the result of a long-term strategy designed to amplify the existing franchises while enabling each studio to further foster its unique identity, community and culture.

By allowing the identities of each of these studios to thrive under their individual studios, each team will have the flexibility to continue their work developing current and upcoming games, recruiting new talent and building upon the legacy of their respective franchises.

Dimensional Ink Games

Dimensional Ink Games based in Austin, Texas develops and operates DC Universe Online, the DC Super Hero-based MMORPG still played by millions across PC and consoles. Dimensional Ink will be led by Jack Emmert, who worked on  City of HeroesStar Trek Online, and Neverwinter. The studio will continue to support DCUO while developing its next high-profile action MMO project starting in 2020.

“Crafting iconic MMORPG experiences has always been Daybreak’s lifeblood,” said Emmert. “We intend to continue that legacy and grow Dimensional Ink, Darkpaw Games and Rogue Planet Games into the future. Whether it’s DC Universe Online, EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide 2 or our future projects, we’ll be giving players their ideal fantasy game experiences for years to come.”

Darkpaw Games

Darkpaw Games will be based in San Diego, California and will be focusing on EverQuest, one of the most legendary MMORPG IPs recognized worldwide. Holly Longdale will continue to lead the studio as its Executive Producer. Darkpaw’s mission is to continue to expand upon the unique and amazing fantasy adventure that is EverQuest and EverQuest II and develop the next innovation for the franchise.

The following is an interview with Holly discussion Episode 7 of the Everquest Show, from October 2019:

Rogue Planet Games

Rogue Planet Games will also be based in San Diego, and will focus on the massively multiplayer first-person shooter genre with PlanetSide and Planetside 2, while working on new and experiences in the space under Executive Producer Andy Sites who wrote a welcome letter on the site. The team is focused on developing its next genre-defining experience for fans of shooters under its new banner.

 

Embodied Labs Raises $3.2 Million in Seed Funding For VR Healthcare Training With Aging-Related Illnesses

Embodied Labs Raises $3.2 Million in Seed Funding With Diverse Investors Across Aging, Tech and Impact Funds

Company’s Unique Immersive Platform Will be Showcased at Health 2.0 VentureConnect Event During J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference – 

California-based Embodied Labs, the leading immersive platform using virtual reality (VR) to revolutionize training for the aging care workforce,  announced its seed funding of $3.2 million led by top age-tech investor, Ziegler Link·Age Fund, co-led by the leading immersive tech investor, The Venture Reality Fund, as well as SustainVC, a social impact fund in healthcare and education, WXR Fund, investing in women and the next wave of computing, and ETF@JFFLabs, a social impact fund that invests in technologies that close skill gaps and improve economic mobility.

“In addition to being oversubscribed in our initial investment round, we are thrilled with our unique mix of investors who have proven expertise across the convergence of aging, emerging technology, social impact, female empowerment and the need to transform our workforce training methods in health and aging care,” said Carrie Shaw, founder and CEO of Embodied Labs.

Founded in 2016, Embodied Labs uses the immersive experience of VR to put health care professionals and family caregivers into the body and mind of those who are challenged with lifespan aging issues: cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s, age-related vision and hearing loss, neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia, and end-of-life decisions. Its training mission is twofold: enhance person-centered care through intellectual and instinctual behavior change and help long-term care providers recruit and retain a quality caregiver workforce.

 

Carrie Shaw, CEO of Embodied Labs, demos VR training platform for aging care providers

The entire age-tech market is projected to be $40 billion and according to a Goldman Sachs report, VR in U.S. health care will capture 12.5 percent of the market by 2025. From a workforce training perspective, ABI Research found enterprise training based on VR had a 75 percent learning retention rate versus lecture (10 percent) or reading (15 percent) training.

“One of the target attributes we look for in our investment portfolio companies is a differentiated solution with broad market potential,” said John Hopper, chief investment officer, Ziegler Link·age Fund. “We are leading this investment round for Embodied Labs because it delivers a unique solution across our limited partners spectrum of senior living, home care, hospice and hospitals to train a workforce that spans four generations. Using this innovative VR tool to attract and retain valuable talent puts providers ahead of the curve operationally and with their customers.”

“Embodied Labs is at the intersection of immersive tech and age-tech innovation to establish its leadership in this huge market opportunity,” said Marco DeMiroz, co-founder and general partner of The Venture Reality Fund. “What attracted us to invest in Embodied Labs is its unique focus in VR to deliver transformative training in a turnkey tech-sophisticated package based on its comprehensive and innovative platform that is already receiving significant adoption by a traditionally tech-phobic long-term care.”

“VR technology offers a quantum leap in delivering empathy and understanding of our ever-growing aging population,” said Dr. Ken Dychtwald, aging visionary, author, co-founder of AgeWave and an angel investor in Embodied Labs. “I became an early seed funder in Carrie Shaw’s Embodied Labs because they’re committed to using cutting edge technology to provide better care for our aging population.”

“Female-driven innovation and influence, especially in age-tech, is exciting to see and I immediately embraced Carrie’s vision to use VR to create emotional intelligence in aging for better person-centered care,” said Maddy Dychtwald, author, co-founder of AgeWave and a founder of WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s, who is also an angel investor in Embodied Labs.

Embodied Labs Showcased During J.P. Morgan Healthcare Week
Embodied Labs has been selected as one of only 12 finalists to present at the prestigious Health 2.0 VentureConnect event held during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco the week of January 13. The event gathers highly vetted startups and venture capitalists in an exclusively curated showcase of the convergence of health care and technology.

About Embodied Labs

Embodied Labs, headquartered in Los Angeles, is the leading VR immersive learning platform on aging population health issues training home care, senior living, hospice, medical and nursing schools, hospitals and employers interested in educating HR departments to better support its caregiving employees.  Working collaboratively with health care, gerontology, medical and clinical scientist experts as well as seasoned Hollywood filmmakers for powerful storytelling, the Embodied Labs solution has won the National AARP Caregiving Innovation Challenge, The United Healthcare & AARP OpenIDEO Caregiving for Dementia Challenge, The US Department of Education EdSim Challenge and The GlobalXR in Education Prize Challenge funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

M2 Investment Index – Jan 10, 2020

INVESTMENTS & ACQUSITIONS: January 10, 2020

TOTAL INVESTMENTS FOR THE WEEK OF JAN 10, 2020:

For the week of Jan 10, 2020 the total investments and acquisitions reached $365.3 million.

Total investments reached $97.4 million, while all acquisitions for the week were at $267.9 million.

FUNDING HIGHLIGHTS:

INVESTMENTS BY MARKET SEGMENT

  • Gaming investments reached $137.7M.
  • 3D Graphics investments reached $143.3M
  • Artificial Intelligence had investments of $206M
  • Augmented Reality investments reached $7.3M.

ACQUISITION HIGHLIGHTS:

ACQUISITIONS BY MARKET SEGMENT

TOTAL ACQUISITIONS:

  • Artificial Intelligence acquisitions $166M
  • Gaming acquisitions reached $102M

ALL INVESTMENTS AND ACQUISITIONS FOR THE WEEK OF JAN 10, 2020

CATEGORY FOCUS TYPE COMPANY INVESTORS IN THE ROUND AMOUNT ($M)
Games Mobile Acquisition Gloops GDRIVE (Nexon) $0.0
Games Mobile Acquisition Yippee Entertainment Team 17 $1.9
Games Mobile Acquisition Ilyon Games Tencent-Miniclip $100.0
Games Console/PC Investment Platinum Games Tencent-Miniclip
Games Esports Investment Rheo Lightspeed, Sequoia Surge $2.0
Games Mobile Investment Fund Hamburg $2.0
Games Esports Investment Midnite Makers Fund $2.5
Games Mobile MMO Investment Npixel Saehan Startup Investment, Altos Ventures, Bluehole, Roblox $25.9
Games Social Investment HaikuJAM Lightbox $3.4
CATEGORY FOCUS TYPE COMPANY INVESTORS IN THE ROUND AMOUNT ($M)
AR/VR/XR AR Hardware Investment CReal investiere, DAA Capital, SICTIC, grants from European Innovation Council, Foundation pour l’Innovation Technologique $7.3
CATEGORY FOCUS TYPE COMPANY INVESTORS IN THE ROUND AMOUNT ($M)
CATEGORY FOCUS TYPE COMPANY INVESTORS IN THE ROUND AMOUNT ($M)
3D AI, Holographics Investment Jimuyida East China Sea Investment, Lian Jin Shu, Ruiding Capital, others $14.3
CATEGORY FOCUS TYPE COMPANY INVESTORS IN THE ROUND AMOUNT ($M)