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 .

 

 

 

Apple Acquires UK Motion Capture Company iKinema

Documentation disclosed by MacRumors has found that an Apple executive came onto iKinema’s board of directors starting on Sept 9, 2019. Around the same time the company’s official address was changed to that of Apple’s law firm in London. On October 4th Apple officially confirmed the acquisition, further details of the aqcuistion were not disclosed.

What We Think

iKinema has been used on many films and games and now it will be interesting to see what plans Apple has for incorporating the company’s technology. All of the iKinema site has been removed but in previous press releases it describes itself and its list of clients as follows:

  • IKINEMA (www.IKINEMA.com) sells products that dramatically improve the quality of animation and reduce the cost of producing animation. It uses patented IP to dynamically calculate animation sequences. The resulting animations are more realistic and cheaper to produce and maintain. IKINEMA was established in 2006 in the UK and has actively traded since 2009. The company owns patent protected intellectual property for fast, realistic and organic animation for games, virtual, and movie production. Prominent clients include: Activision, Bethesda, Bluehole Inc., Capcom, CBS Digital, Deep Silver Dambuster Studios, Digital Domain, Digital Idea Corp., Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Foundry, Fox VFX, Framestore, Globo TV, GREE, Inc., Hasbro, Image Engine Design, Inc., Impulse Gear, Infinity Ward, Koch Media, Linden Lab, Microsoft Studios, NASA Johnson Space Center, NCSOFT, NVIDIA, Quantic Dream, Rare, Respawn Entertainment, Snail Games, Softstar Entertainment Inc., Square Enix, Sumo Digital, Technicolor, Tencent NEXT Studio, The VOID, 20th Century Fox, 2K Games, Ubisoft, Unity3D, Valve Software, Vicon, Warner Bros. and many more. The company is licensed technology provider by Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and Autodesk. All products or brand names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

The ability to produce high-quality, low cost animation has been an issue the industry has been trying to solve for years. 3D and animation is still the most difficult form of media to create. Tools that better enable the democritizition of 3D content for developers is definately a valuable resource and Apple seems to have targeted that as something they look to capitalize on in the future.

Unity Technologies Acquires ChilliConnect

ChilliConnect’s cloud-based toolkit to provide live game management services for building and managing connected games

Unity Technologies, announced the acquisition of ChilliConnect. With the addition of ChilliConnect to Unity Technologies, developers will benefit from easier, better integrated access to live operations and backend game management services to build and manage connected games.

“By joining Unity, we are enhancing that choice for so many more developers worldwide. Our services will remain engine agnostic, but we’re excited to provide Unity developers with an easier path to successful.

“Creating games on Unity is a great first step, but developer teams of all sizes are then faced with the challenge of managing and maintaining those games, which can be very complicated and costly,” said Luc Barthelet, Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Services, Unity Technologies. “ChilliConnect is the connecting piece for Unity developers, providing the essential LiveOps and backend services needed to successfully operate a connected game. Having ChilliConnect onboard closes the loop for developers to create, operate and monetize their game with Unity and we’re very excited to have them as part of the team.”

ChilliConnect provides developers with cloud-based game services to enable backend operations at scale, allowing developers to add online game features and run LiveOps without needing to manage their own server infrastructure. ChilliConnect’s services, and the offerings from Unity’s other recent acquisition deltaDNA, round out Unity’s full LiveOps solution for building and operating connected games. With these acquisitions, developers can now access cost-effective, customizable live game solutions, regardless of individual needs.

“Much like Unity, we believe in democratizing game development and management regardless of studio size, engine technology or commercial aspirations. We want developers to have a choice,” said Paul Farley, Chief Executive Officer, ChilliConnect. “By joining Unity, we are enhancing that choice for so many more developers worldwide. Our services will remain engine agnostic, but we’re excited to provide Unity developers with an easier path to successful connected game operation.”

Unity exists to empower the success of the world’s creators with the most accessible and powerful real-time 3D development and monetization platform. Games and experiences made with Unity have reached more than 3 billion devices worldwide this year and were installed more than 34 billion times in the last 12 months.

Jaunt XR’s Technology Aquired by Verizon

Jaunt XR today announced the acquisition of its software, technology, and certain other assets by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) for an undisclosed amount. Jaunt XR is a leader in the immersive industry with a focus on the scalable creation and distribution of volumetric video of humans.
“We are thrilled with Verizon’s acquisition of Jaunt’s technology,” said Mitzi Reaugh, President & CEO of Jaunt XR. “The Jaunt team has built leading-edge software and we are excited for its next chapter with Verizon.”
Jaunt will be assisting Verizon with the transition of select portions of the software and technology for a brief period of time.
About Jaunt XR
Jaunt, Inc. (dba Jaunt XR) enables the scaled creation and distribution of volumetric video through machine learning. Jaunt has twice been selected for Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies and back-to-back selection for CNBC’s Disruptor 50 List. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, California.
Jaunt’s investors include Evolution Media Partners, CMC, Highland Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures, SMG, Axel Springer, The Walt Disney Company, The Madison Square Garden Company, and Sky. Learn more at www.jauntxr.com.

Tencent to acquire 29% of game developer and publisher Funcom

Tencent will acquire 29% of the shares in the independent game developer and publisher Funcom

Tencent, a leading Internet company with a strong online games operation, entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire 29% of the shares in Funcom, the independent developer and publisher of games such as Conan Exiles, The Secret World, and Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. The acquisition makes Tencent the largest shareholder in Funcom. Funcom is listed as Funcom SE on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: Funcom).

Tencent has agreed to acquire all shares belonging to the Norway-based KGJ Capital AS, which is currently the largest shareholder in Funcom.

For more than a decade, Funcom has successfully launched major multiplayer titles including Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, The Secret World, and most recently Conan Exiles. Both 2017 and 2018 were the most profitable years in Funcom’s history.

Funcom announced recently that the company has acquired the exclusive rights to develop and publish PC and console games based on the DUNE IP for the next six years. The company is already working on an open world sandbox game set in the DUNE universe and is working closely with Legendary Entertainment who will be releasing a new DUNE feature film in December 2020 directed by Denis Villeneuve.

“We are very pleased to see Tencent come in as the largest shareholder of Funcom,” says Funcom CEO Rui Casais. “Tencent has a reputation for being a responsible long-term investor, and for its renowned operational capabilities in online games.The insight, experience, and knowledge that Tencent will bring is of great value to us and we look forward to working closely with them as we continue to develop great games and build a successful future for Funcom.”

Tencent ranks top in terms of online games revenue globally and is a shareholder in many of the world’s leading gaming companies such as Riot Games, Epic, Supercell, Ubisoft, Paradox, Frontier and Miniclip.

For more information about Funcom, please visit www.funcom.com. For more information about Tencent, please visit www.tencent.com.