Disney’s recent announcement states that they sold FoxNext Games, Los Angeles, to Scopely, a company specializing in interactive entertainment and mobile games. This game studio made “MARVEL Strike Force” as well as some other titles. They also sold Cold Iron Studios in San Jose to the same company.
Disney acquired these studios back in 2019 from 21st Century Fox due to their $71.3 billion deal. But they aren’t discarding the entire gaming lineup for Fox. They clarified that the independent portfolio of Fox IP-licensed game titles wasn’t part of the deal, meaning it will remain as a part of Disney’s licensed games business.
Regardless, the company didn’t disclose the terms of the acquisition. But the deal doesn’t include the virtual reality business of FoxNext Games. After all, this made a lot of experiences based on various franchises, such as “Alien” and the like.
FoxNext Games became a mobile gaming business player in 2017. It became possible since it acquired Aftershock, a Los Angeles- and San Francisco-based studio. This move was a component of their larger initiative to make innovations in entertainment such as games and virtual reality.
In March 2018, FoxNext Games released its first game, the “MARVEL Strike Force”. It brought around $150 million within its first year from both iOS and Android systems.
Another title made by this company is “Storyscape”, which saw its release in early 2019. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure game feature tales set in the world of “Titanic” or “The X-Files”. Take note, this isn’t included in the acquisition since it’s a part of Fogbank.
In more recent times, the studio made a soft launch of “Avatar: Pandora Rising”. It’s set in Pandora from the Steven Spielberg movie “Avatar”. The game features elements from massive real-time strategy and social games.
According to the latest statistics from Sensor Tower, the “MARVEL Strike Force” had 26 million downloads. As for “Storyscape”, more than 1.7 million people installed it. On the other hand, the Avatar game isn’t as available since it’s relatively new, with only 100,000 downloads at the moment.
FoxNext also announced that their next game will feature the movie franchise “Alien”. It’s possible since the company got it from its deal with Cold Iron Studios in 2018.
According to Tim O’Brien, Scopely’s chief revenue officer, FoxNext Games’ MARVEL strike force impressed them and they can’t wait to find out what they can do in collaboration. They grew their existing business with the deal, and they want to further expand their portfolio through M&A with FoxNext Games’ play-first product approach.
O’Brien further states that Scopely aims to deliver memorable game experiences. With that, their collaboration with GameNext perfectly aligns with it. They’re looking forward to combining forces with a world-class competent team and their future together.
Scopely hit a billion-dollar revenue milestone in the summer of 2019. They also bought DIGIT Game Studios a year prior. This studio made top-grossing MMO games like “Star Trek Fleet Command” and “Kings of the Realm”.
Some of the other top titles made by Scopely include “The Walking Dead: Road to Survival”, “WWE Champions 2019”, “Looney Tunes World of Mayhem”, “Dice with Ellen”, “Wheel of Fortune: Free Play”, “Scrabble Go”, “Yahtzee with Buddies Dice Game”, and a lot more.
Scopely puts another top-grossing game to its compendium with its latest FoxNext acquisition. That means their in-development pipeline expands. Most of all, they get the game development expertise of the FoxNext team.
As soon as the acquisition finishes, Aaron Loeb, FoxNext Games President, will get an unspecified executive role in Scopely. As for FoxNext Games SVP & GM Amir Rahimi, they will lead the Los Angeles studio of FoxNext Games as its president of games. Of course, he leads under Scopely’s management.
Also, Rahmi said that Scopely and FoxNext Games commit to bringing beloved worlds to life using interactive gaming experiences. They design these games to be playable for years to come, and he believes that their shared focus, FoxNext’s unique business strengths, and Scopely’s multiple game expertise will lead them to more future success.
Disney said in a public statement that they’re not tapping into the game-studio business. They prefer to license their IP to other developers and publishers. That’s why rumors started spreading back in 2018 that this company is planning to sell FoxNext Games.
In November 2018, Disney had a deal with Jam City, a mobile-games studio. Their deal was to make game titles based on both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation franchises. This also meant they shut down their game studio group based in Glendale, California, with some employees joining Jam City.
After the purchase, it’s expected for around 200 FoxNext employees to join Scopely. This doesn’t take into account the 50 workers coming in from San Jose. This will increase Scopely’s number of staff members to over 800 worldwide.
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