TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the prevalent business stories in gaming. In today’s news: Bloober Team in M&A discussions; Absolutely Games founded; and Oculus Go shuttered.
Bloober Team in M&A discussions
Kraków-based developer Bloober Team SA is to enter second-stage talks with six companies over a potential merger or sale of the company, according to document filings submitted to the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Of the prospective partners, three are headquartered within the United States, two in Poland, and one in the United Kingdom. With a market capitalisation of PLN287.72m (£58.5m) at the time of writing, it is likely that talks will be centred around a full acquisition rather than a merger.
Bloober Team, which spun out as an independent outfit from former parent Nibris in 2008, is best known for its horror game titles, which include Layers of Fear, Observer, and Blair Witch. Its upcoming title, The Medium, is scheduled for release across Xbox Series X and PC late this year. Despite its status as a launch title for its new Microsoft console, it is not thought that Microsoft are one of the interested US parties, as Head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty claimed earlier this year that the group was not actively looking to onboard new development houses.
Absolutely Games founded
James Brooksby, former head of Wargaming UK, has established a new studio in Guildford, branded as Absolutely Games. The new outfit has also received an undisclosed level of funding from angel investors, namely Rebellion’s Chris Kingsley and Anime Virtual’s Cedric Littadi. Absolutely will initially focus on producing a premium strategy title, which is due to be released next year. Prior to Absolutely Games, Brooksby founded Born Ready Studios in 2012, along with Edge Case Games in 2014, which was in turn acquired by Wargaming in 2018.
Commenting on the studio launch, Brooksby wrote, “The culture and values of the new studio are very important to me – we will be making smart choices and excellent games. However, there must be a focus on those games and their players – no nonsense around the edges.”
Oculus Go shuttered
Facebook has announced that it will be discontinuing both hardware and software sales for its Oculus Go VR headset by the close of this year, as it continues its focus on its more immersive six degrees of freedom (6DOF) Oculus Quest line. While security patches and bug fixes will continue to be implemented through to 2022, Go apps and app updates will not be accepted after 18th December 2020. Facebook has also announced that developers will also be able to distribute their apps through the Quest platform without having to adhere to the full technical specifications of the Oculus store, a measure ostensibly designed to aid developers in pivoting from 3DOF to 6DOF engineering.
The blog post announcing the decision reads, “As we look to the future, we’re grateful to the Oculus Go community for pushing the VR revolution forward. Unique amongst a landscape of tethered and drop-in systems, Oculus Go pioneered the all-in-one category—a new kind of VR with more freedom and flexibility. And that was a game-changer. Oculus Go opened up VR to many more people, and it helped redefine immersive entertainment. From live concerts and sporting events to couch co-op gameplay, corporate training, and beyond, Oculus Go made new experiences possible for people around the world, and it laid the groundwork for Oculus Quest.”