Thunderful acquires Rising Star Games

Rising Star Games brand to be used "when bringing strong titles from Japan to the west."

Thunderful and Rising Star Games

Thunderful—the January-formed company that encompasses development studios Image & Form and Zoink Games, as well as Thunderful Publishing—has acquired Rising Star Games, the company announced. Thunderful Publishing managing director Ed Valiente will be the new managing director of Rising Star Games.

Here is the full press release:

The Thunderful Group, which encompasses development studios Image & Form and Zoink Games as well as Thunderful Publishing, is pleased to announce that it has acquired publisher Rising Star Games with offices in the UK and US. The new managing director for Rising Star Games will be Ed Valiente, who is also the managing director of Thunderful Publishing.

Sweden-based Thunderful was established in December 2017 by Bergsala Holding (50%), Image & Form CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson (25%) and Zoink Games CEO Klaus Lyngeled (25%).

There are two main strategies behind Thunderful: one is to achieve close and effective collaboration between Image & Form and Zoink Games on PR, marketing and publishing of internal titles. The second is to set up a publishing powerhouse – Thunderful Publishing – where the proven self-publishing capabilities of the studios are reinforced through recruitment and acquisition to be able to also take on external titles that can match those of Image & Form and Zoink in quality.

Well, Thunderful is starting to deliver on its strategies. This spring, Thunderful appointed Ed Valiente as the managing director of Thunderful Publishing. Ed Valiente is a gaming industry fixture with stints at Sony, Square, Microsoft, Bandai Namco and most recently eight years at Nintendo of Europe. A dream signing.

“Once he knew what we were planning, getting Ed hooked on the idea was easy,” says Thunderful CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson. “It’s the first time we recruit from outside Sweden, so it’s been a good exercise in dealing with Swedish red tape, housing and what have you. Having him on board is absolutely delightful.”

Interest from developers in teaming up with Thunderful Publishing has been… substantial, to say the least. Therefore, Thunderful has acquired 100% of the shares in Rising Star Games from Bergsala Holding to cope with the new workload, and to benefit from many years of expertise. Ed Valiente will be the new managing director at Rising Star Games, in addition to being the managing director of Thunderful Publishing.

“The team at Rising Star Games is very competent,” says Ed Valiente. “We look forward to bringing in quality titles for us all to work with.”

Rising Star Games have offices in the UK and the US, and have titles in the works that will be released under the current label. Rising Star Games’ tagline is “the home of Japanese games”, and Thunderful Publishing will use the Rising Star Games brand when bringing strong titles from Japan to the west. Future western titles will be published by Thunderful Publishing.

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