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N3twork acquires Nio Games

"We're going to try and grow our company whatever way we can"

San Francisco's N3twork is yet to release its first game, but that hasn't stopped it preparing for a big future with the acquisition of Swedish studio Nio Games.

"We're going to try and grow our company whatever way we can," Neil Young, CEO and founder of N3twork, told GamesIndustry.biz

"That's going to be by building our own products internally, from people that we've hired as we carefully build the team, by finding other teams around the world and working with them in whatever capacity makes the most sense for both of us."

Nio Games was founded in November 2013 by Paul Wilkinson. His previous roles include director of mobile development at King and senior software engineer at both Zynga and PlayFirst. That experience certainly fits with N3twork's vision for "ultra mobile" games.

"With Nio we had a vision for a type of product that we wanted to build - I can't tell you too much about that type of product - so one of the questions that we had the two dimensions to it were hard to create. We knew how to create one of the dimensions but the other dimension was not an expertise that we had in house," explains Young.

"So we either had to go and hire those people or we could build a company that had something awesome and that shared our vision. So we talked to around a hundred different people and eventually came across Paul and a product that he and his team was working on and we thought it was a great expression of that dimension we needed. As we explained what we were trying to accomplish he shared a lot of the same views as us, so it just kind of made sense."

Young also revealed that N3twork currently had three products in development, one with Nio, and that he expected at least two of them to be in "some form of launch" this year.

"Wouldn't it be awesome if there was a new Electronic Arts, Activision scale company that was built from this moment forwards instead of having its roots basically back in the mid-80s?"

Young is of course one of the founders of ngmoco, the mobile gaming company that went on to be acquired by DeNA. Now he, Alan Yu and Bob Stevenson are back in games with N3twork. The studio has been busy building its team (which now numbers around 30) with talent like DeNA's Takeshi Otsuka, monetization design consultant Ethan Levy and PopCap EA art director Stephan Royer.

"Wouldn't it be awesome if there was a new Electronic Arts, Activision scale company that was built from this moment forwards instead of having its roots basically back in the mid-80s?" asks Young.

"And what would that company, free from all of the overheads that those type of organisations have, what would that type of company do? What would its games look like? How long would they take to make? What would the relationship between the game, the game makers and the customers be? What platforms would you care about?"

With its strong vision and experienced team it feels as though this time next year N3twork might just have the answers to a lot of those questions.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.

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