Nordisk Film acquires Avalanche Studios
Just Cause developer retains creative freedom, gains stability in €89 million acquisition
Nordisk Film is upping its investment in Nordic game developers. Today, the company announced it will acquire all shares and full ownership of Just Cause and Mad Max developer Avalanche Studios--Nordisk's largest acquisition thus far.
Nordisk will obtain all shares and full ownership of Avalanche, its three studios (including its new studio opened just last week in Malmö, Sweden) and over 320 developers in the €89 million ($103 million) acquisition. Avalanche is currently valued at €117 million ($136 million). Nordisk had been a minority shareholder in Avalanche since last year, when it paid more than $10 million for a stake in the company.
"This was simply the right offer, at the right time, from the right company," said Avalanche CEO, Pim Holfve, speaking via email to GamesIndustry.biz. "We have worked closely with Nordisk Film as a minority owner for the past year, which has been a great experience. As good as we are at developing explosive open-world games, they have a 111-year history of working with companies within the creative industries, and bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience.
"Nordisk Film are also fully committed to our road map, and feel that Avalanche Studios are headed in the right direction, so they don't want to mess with that. Being able to maintain our creative independence, while at the same time being acquired by stable, long-term owners is the best possible scenario, and I couldn't be happier to have them onboard."
Along with maintaining that creative freedom, Avalanche will avoid any kind of staff or management shake-up; Nordisk's Managing Director Mikkel Weider joining the Avalanche board is the only personnel change. Agreements with outside publishers that are already existing will continue as well (such as Avalanche's partnership with Bethesda to develop Rage 2), with the door left open for both new publisher partnerships large and small.
Self-published games aren't going anywhere, either, especially with the addition of the Malmö studio to focus on "small and flexible projects." Holfve said that the company will accelerate its self-publishing, with games such as Avalanche's theHunter fitting in well with Nordic's ideas for games as services.
"We have been running theHunter Classic as a service for almost a decade, and that's also how we think about our upcoming self-published games as well," Holfve said. "theHunter: Call of the Wild has been supported with new DLC (paid and free), game updates, community events and more since launch. That's a great blueprint for how we think about our self-published games as active, dynamic services for our fans."
The acquisition is expected to be finalized by the end of June.