Weekly News Digest #5
# of announced deals
announced deals’ size
# of closed deals
We are working on our 2023 Global Gaming Deals Activity Report, so this digest has no featured news this time. However, you can still find all last week’s deals in the “Notable Transactions” section below. Please follow us on X, LinkedIn, and Telegram to avoid missing the Report.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Lithuania-based developer and publisher Nordcurrent has acquired Cinemaware’s games catalog from Starbreeze Entertainment (STO:STAR-A) for an undisclosed sum. This acquisition includes classics like Defender of the Crown and The King of Chicago and aligns with Nordcurrent’s strategy to bolster its presence in the PC & console games sector. The company aims to remaster these titles for modern platforms.
Singapore-based web3 games developer Pixelmon has raised $8m in a Seed funding round from Animoca Brands, Delphi Ventures, Amber Group, Bing Ventures, Bitscale Capital, Cypher Capital and others. The funding will support the studio’s gaming endeavors after facing skepticism due to initial setbacks. In 2022, the company raised $70m worth of cryptocurrency via the sale of its NFTs, making players believe that sum is enough to create a AAA game. Pixelmon received negative reviews after introducing its first concept art, quickly losing its audience. Now, the company aims to restore trust and credit and attract players.
Netherlands-based social party game developer Forgotten Playland has raised $7m in a Seed funding round led by Merit Circle, Spartan Group, C2 Ventures, and Paper Ventures. The studio is developing a social gaming platform with minigames like Bump-A-Ball and Jungle Rumble. The investment will fuel talent acquisition and the release of the studio’s debut in Q1’24.
Australia-based web3 gaming company Saltwater has raised $5.5m in a Seed funding round led by Deus X and Fourth Revolution Capital. Tim Grant, CEO of Deus X, will become Saltwater’s chairman. The round follows the firm’s acquisition of Maze Theory, Nexus Labs, and Quantum Interactive. Saltwater intends to utilize the funds for expanding operations, technology investment, and increasing headcount.
According to the SEC filing, US-based interactive game streaming platform Playcast has raised $4.7m out of $4.9m. The company’s eponymous platform is currently available in Alpha; the funding will support its further elaboration.
US-based MR games developer Eggscape Entertainment has raised $4.25m in a Seed funding round led by Transcend Fund to develop social gaming for mixed reality headsets. The company’s main project is Eggverse, an MR gaming platform that offers different gaming experiences, some of which, like Zombie Castle, World Cup, and Rally Racer, are currently being developed.
US-based games developer Loric Games has raised $4m in a funding round led by 1AM Gaming, with participation from Hiro Capital. The funding will support the development of their upcoming co-op RPG and further team expansion. Ex-Electronic Arts VP and ex-NaturalMotion head Jeff Hickman will also become Loric’s CPO.
Finland-based game developer Order of Meta has raised $3.3m in a Seed funding round led by GEM Capital, with participation from Korea Investment Partners, Play Ventures, and The Games Fund. The funding will support the launch of the studio’s mobile-first extraction shooter, Cargo Hunters.
France-based mobile games developer 8SEC has raised $1.6m (€1.5m) in a funding round from Kwalee. Kwalee’s CFO, Matthew Farrow, and VP of mobile publishing, John Wright, will join 8SEC’s board. 8SEC aims to leverage Kwalee’s expertise in user acquisition, monetization, and game design to propel its hybrid-casual mobile games into the next generation.
Sweden-based newly established mobile games developer Roro has raised $1.6m in a Seed funding round led by node.vc, with participation from FOV Ventures, Robin Flodin, and several angel investors. The studio’s first project is a 3D digital dollhouse, the title of which is yet to be disclosed. The funding will be spent on further development of the first game, as well as the expansion of the team.
South Africa-based gaming studio Carry1st has raised an undisclosed sum from Sony (TYO: 6758) via its Sony Innovation Fund venture arm. The strategic partnership aims to explore commercial opportunities in Africa’s emerging gaming market. Carry1st specializes in developing social and casual mobile games for the African audience and plans to launch its original titles in 2024.
UPDATE: US-based game developer Mountaintop Games has raised $30m in a Series B funding round. The funding came from YouTube and Twitch creators Shroud, tarik, iiTzTimmy, Cohh Carnage, songwriter Zedd, and NBA player Paul George. The company had already raised $35.5m in Seed and Series A rounds in 2021. Founded in 2020, Mountaintop is currently developing its first online game, a tactical FPS, the title of which is yet undisclosed.