20 May — 26 May / 2024

Weekly News Digest #21


# of announced deals
announced deals’ size
# of closed deals

Nintendo Acquires Shiver Entertainment


Nintendo Acquires Shiver Entertainment

Nintendo Acquires Shiver Entertainment

Japan-based gaming giant Nintendo (TYO: 7974) has announced the acquisition of US-based work-for-hire studio Shiver Entertainment from Embracer Group (STO: EMBRAC B). The sum of the deal remained undisclosed.

Founded in 2013, Shiever is a third-party games developer responsible for the recent ports of Mortal Kombat 1 and Hogwarts Legacy on Nintendo Switch. The studio has also worked on popular game series for other platforms, including Madden NFLFIFANeed for Speed, and Guitar Hero. According to the press release, Shiver will continue to focus on porting and development for multiple platforms. The company did this before and after Embracer acquired it in Dec’21.

The press release also states that Shiver will port and develop software for multiple platforms, including Nintendo Switch. Still, whether this means continuing to work with existing clients or porting Nintendo games to other platforms is unclear. However, considering the Japanese company’s history, it seems unlikely that it will pursue the cross-platform release strategy currently being practiced by Sony and Microsoft. The same can be said about its M&A activity, which aligns with this. While Microsoft and Sony were among the most active buyers of the market, Nintendo made only three deals: Next Level GamesSRD, and Dynamo Pictures.

Nintendo FinancialsSource: Nintendo 2024 FY Financial Results Report

The challenges in the gaming industry haven’t dramatically influenced Nintendo’s financials. Although financial performance has declined, this aligns with the overall market dynamics. The figures have returned to near pre-pandemic levels and appear to be stable at this point.

Nevertheless, the company was showing tremendous growth even before the pandemic. The release of Nintendo Switch in 2017 was a game changer, and Nintendo grew from $4.4B in Revenue in FY’17 to $10.9B in FY’19. That’s why Nintendo’s new growth strategy will likely focus on further developing its exclusivity and ecosystem rather than adopting a multiplatform approach. The model proved successful, and the new console will likely utilize the same approach. As for the acquisition of Shiver, it seems to be part of the preparation for the release.

Strategic Rationale

The acquisition comes soon after the success of Hogwarts Legacy on Nintendo Switch. According to Statista, the number of copies sold increased from 15 million in May’23 to 22 million in Dec’23. While we don’t have the exact numbers, the release of the Switch version was in Nov’23, which undoubtedly contributed to this significant spike in sales.

Hogwarts Legacy, StatistaHogwarts Legacy copies sold worldwide as of Jan’24. Source: Statista

The port is also a technical success. Porting a massive open-world game, initially designed for the powerful ninth-generation consoles, to the much weaker hardware of the Nintendo Switch was a significant challenge that the team has successfully overcome.

The port of Hogwarts Legacy to the Nintendo Switch, in particular, showcases Shiver’s ability to transfer large-scale games with minimal quality loss, allowing players to enjoy complex titles on handheld hardware. This seems especially important considering the upcoming release of the new Nintendo console, often referred to as “Switch 2”.

The console is confirmed to be shipped within this fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2025. With a likely significant hardware upgrade, we expect more existing and future games to be planned for porting to the next Nintendo console. In theory, bringing games to Switch 2 might be faster and easier than porting to the original Nintendo Switch, which requires more effort to keep up with the increasing hardware demands of new games.

Overall, the deal is a win-win for all parties involved. Embracer continues to streamline and optimize its structure, Nintendo gains a reliable partner with a proven track record of porting games to Switch, and Shiver benefits from joining one of the industry’s most stable and reputable gaming companies.


We thank MGVC and Xsolla for supporting this digest.



The Netherlands-based esports organization Team Liquid has acquired Indonesia-based Aura Esports and Philippines-based esports company ECHO Esports for an undisclosed sum. The companies were subsidiaries of the Indonesia-based esports organization STUN.GG. As a result of the acquisition, Aura Esports will be rebranded as Team Liquid ID, and ECHO Esports will become Team Liquid PH. Both teams participated in the Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) ecosystem.

US-based media entertainment company IGN Entertainment has acquired UK-based media entertainment company Gamer Network for an undisclosed sum. The deal includes, Eurogamer, Rock Paper Shotgun, VG247, and Dicebreaker. It also includes shares in Outside Xbox, Digital Foundry, and Hookshot but does not include UK-based events brands Popverse, EGX, and MCM. Soon after the announcement, some of the acquired companies saw a series of layoffs.

US-based web3 games developer Elixir Games has acquired the game of a Spain-based games developer company, The Breach Studios, for an undisclosed sum. RoboKiden is a F2P third-person online shooter set for release in Jul’24. The game will be the flagship title for the Elixir platform.

US-based gaming company Atari (ENXTPA: ATA) has acquired the Intellivision brand and portfolio games from Intellivision Entertainment for an undisclosed sum. This move is part of Atari’s ongoing investment in its retro games business, which includes recent acquisitions of Digital Eclipse, Nightdive, RetroAge, and various game IPs. The deal did not affect the rights to the Amico console, which Intellivision will continue developing under an Atari license.


China-based games publisher The9 Limited (Nasdaq: NCTY) has raised $3.5m in funding from the Chinese games fund Fine Vision Fund, including $2.5m upfront payment and $1m installment based on a pre-agreed condition. The company will allocate Class A ordinary shares to the Fine Vision Fund. The funds will support integrating web3 features into the company’s traditional gaming opportunities.

Canada-based game developer Sinn Studio has raised $2.5m in Seed funding led by Hartmann Capital, with participation from Boost VCRepublicAlumni VenturesMana VenturesMetaVision, and other investors. The funds will support the development of a new real-time PvP VR combat game based on a proprietary Combat Engine and Large Intent Model for enhanced spatial computing. The company is famous for developing Swordsman, one of the most popular VR games for Meta Quest and PlayStation VR.

Canada-based game developer Relic Entertainment has raised undisclosed funding from Emona Capital. The funding will be used to maintain independence after Sega’s separation in March’24. The investment firm will enhance the developer’s current portfolio and facilitate partnerships with additional publishers.


US-based games distributor GameStop (NYSE: GME) has raised $933.4m in a new equity offering program. The funds will support new acquisitions, investments, and other strategic corporate initiatives. The company sold up to 45 million shares. Following this news, the company’s stock rose 19%.