Tis’ the season of acquisitions! In a flurry of activity over the past few months, game studios, entertainment franchises and software developers are buying up digital real estate faster than I die in a level of Cuphead. Starting in early September, JamCity gained game studio Ludia, followed by Netflix’s acquisition of Night School Studio.
October saw Microsoft throwing the gauntlet at Sony, saying “We’re definitely not done.” That buying war goes back to the pre-pandemic days of 2019, with Bethesda and Naughty Dog among the studios now claimed by the gaming giants.
On Tuesday, three separate acquisition announcements began making waves throughout the industry. First up, Epic Games announced it is in the process of buying Guitar Hero and Rock Band developer Harmonix. Harmonix rocketed to fame in the mid 2000’s with the advent of band instrument shaped controllers. It developed the first two Guitar Hero games, before Activision took over the franchise, and reapplied its rockin’ brand of gameplay with Rock Band. Epic said Harmonix’s “expertise is needed to reimagine how music is experienced, created, and distributed,” according to the blog post.
Resolution: buy more stuff!
Not to be out done, Resolution Games, the Stockholm based studio responsible for VR/AR games like Angry Birds Isle of Pigs and Demeo, has purchased Zero Index. The two companies have worked on projects before, most notably the Oculus Quest version of Resolution Games’ Carly and the Reaperman. “Demand for great VR and AR experiences is growing at an exponential rate. With more hardware choices than ever in the pipeline from tech’s biggest players, having a team experienced in bringing games to different markets and platforms will help us continue to reach new players everywhere they choose to play,” said Tommy Palm, the founder and CEO of Resolution Games. Already, the developer is working on the next step in gaming innovations, with more to come in 2022.
tinyBuild becomes a much bigger fish
And finally, tinyBuild Games announced that they have acquired Verus Evil and Red Cerberus in a deal that amounts to about $31 million. Known for their indie darlings, including the Hello series (Hello Neighbor, Stranger, and Engineer) and Totally Reliable Delivery Service (spoilers- it’s not, but still a ton of fun!), tinyBuild Games is fast becoming a name to pay attention to.
Red Cerberus, located in Brazil, is a subsidiary of Verus Evil as a quality assurance arm. They are also responsible for making ports possible to other platforms. The moves towards buying Verus Evil started over three years ago. Already successful with their Pillars of Eternity and Banner series, Verus Evil has been on the radar of RPG gamers for a while now. Now with the combination of studio development and quality assurance, tinyBuild’s game may be snagging GOTY in the near future.
We will continue to keep an eye out more news in the constantly shifting industry we call home. Do any of these new combinations grab your attention? Sound off!