TheGamingEconomy Daily Digest brings you the trending business stories in gaming. In today’s edition: Annapurna Interactive parent clears over USD$200m (£165.2m) in debt; ISFE launches esports division; and Playful raises USD$23m (£19m) in Series A funding.
Annapurna Interactive parent clears over USD$200m (£165.2m) in debt
Annapurna Pictures, the parent company of the Annapurna Interactive studio, has reportedly resolved over USD$200m (£165.2m) in debt, with an official announcement expected later this week. The debt will be cleared by an existing line of credit which was set in 2017, with creditors receiving approximately USD$0.82 (£0.68), further financing to be delivered on a case-by-case basis, or directly from Megan Ellison, CEO of Annapurna Pictures. The firm was reportedly exploring Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier in the month, however this is likely to be quelled following the debt clearance.
At the time of the initial suggestion of potential bankruptcy, Ellison released a statement saying, “It is of tremendous importance to me that you all know we are as committed as ever to this company and are in full support of our future. Regardless of whatever comes out in the press, the truth is that we are well on our continued path towards success. There will always be speculation, misinformation and personal jabs in the press – that’s part of the business.”
ISFE launches esports division
The Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE), the independent organisation which represents the European video games industry, has announced the launch of ISFE eSports. The new division has a wide-ranging remit including aligning esports policy, promoting an inclusive culture within the sector, and encouraging talent into the sector. Non-ISFE members Epic Games and Riot Games are supporting the initiative, along with ISFE Principal members such as Activision Blizzard, Take Two Interactive, Ubisoft, EA, and Twitch.
In a statement, Olaf Coenen, chairman of ISFE and co-chairman of ISFE Esports, said: “With video games publishers, their games and their players at the very heart of esports, they are best placed to lead the growth and development of this new frontier for the video games industry, to meet its challenges, promote esports, and to provide an authoritative voice on the issues impacting their businesses.”
Playful raises USD$23m (£19m) in Series A funding
Texas-based Playful Studios, developer of Lucky’s Tale, has raised USD$23m (£19m) in Series A funding. Rather than approaching a selection of investment funds and major corporate entities, Playful approached over 300 investors over a period of nine months, allowing the developer to ‘retain ownership and stewardship’ over their IP.
Mark Stanley, president of Playful, said in a statement: “We believe in full transparency across our business and games. It’s been very important for us to connect with each investor directly to share our unique vision for this company: that the beloved intellectual property we create is our true long-term value.”