THQ Nordic has acquired Bugbear Entertainment, the development studio behind demolition derby-themed racing title Wreckfest, and Coffee Stain Studios, the developer behind Satisfactory, Goat Simulator, and Sanctum.
Here is an overview of each acquisition:
THQ Nordic AB is today announcing that it has acquired 90 percent of the shares in Bugbear Entertainment Ltd. (“Bugbear”) with an option to acquire the remaining 10 percent in the future. Bugbear, a Helsinki-based independent studio with 18 team members developing racing games, is currently working on the critically acclaimed Wreckfest. The acquisition includes the development studio and all intellectual property rights.
THQ Nordic values Bugbear as an experienced and world leading creator of niche racing games built on their proprietary game engine enabled with vehicle destruction physics tools. Wreckfest, a demolition derby themed racing title, was successfully released for PC in June 2018 and is currently being further developed to be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One during 2019. Bugbear is also well known for the critically acclaimed demolition derby series FlatOut, released for PC and consoles during 2004 to 2007.
THQ Nordic has since 2017 acted as publisher for Wreckfest, which has been the best performing game published by THQ Nordic on Steam since its June release.
THQ Nordic strongly believes in Bugbear’s competence in developing successful action racing games and wants to make long term investments to support Bugbear’s future growth journey. The acquisition of Bugbear is also THQ Nordic’s first step into the Finnish market, often rated among the world leaders in game development and THQ Nordic foresees further strategic investments in owned studios and/or publishing deals going forward.
Both parties have agreed upon not disclosing the exact purchase price. However the purchase price matches management’s estimated royalty payments to Bugbear during the upcoming three years.
THQ Nordic AB today has entered into agreement to acquire Coffee Stain Holding AB including 100 percent of its subsidiary Coffee Stain Publishing AB. Coffee Stain is a leading game developer and publisher with a growing footprint in the Nordics. The acquisition includes Intellectual property rights to Satisfactory, Goat Simulator, and Sanctum, and publishing rights to Deep Rock Galactic. The initial cash consideration is equivalent to SEK 317 million on a cash and debt free basis, plus additional earn-out considerations subject to fulfillment of agreed milestones. THQ Nordic estimates Coffee Stain will have net sales in the range of SEK 200-250 million and EBT in the range of SEK 100 to 150 million in the next financial year.
“We are creating a complementary digital native pillar to THQ Nordic. Coffee Stain is a passionate and highly competent team creating and publishing great games. After some years without major releases the pipeline of new game releases such as Satisfactory and Deep Rock Galactic look strong. I look forward to work together with Anton Westbergh and his team in the future” says Lars Wingefors, CEO THQ Nordic.
“I strongly believe that THQ Nordic is a great home for Coffee Stain. In addition to having long experience within games development and publishing, THQ Nordic has the skills, willingness and capital to support our new releases and growth in the future”, says Anton Westbergh, CEO Coffee Stain.
Over the last few years, Coffee Stain has invested into establishing the current pipeline of games which are due to be released over the coming years. Examples of announced upcoming releases are Satisfactory, Deep Rock Galactic (1.0 version), Huntdown, and Goat Simulator (for Nintendo Switch). In addition, one major unannounced project based on existing IPs is to be released in the future.
THQ Nordic estimates Coffee Stain will have a growth in sales, profitability and cash flow the coming years. For the next financial year (April 2019 until March 2020) THQ Nordic estimates Coffee Stain will have net sales in the range of SEK 200 to 250 million and an EBT in the range of SEK 100 to 150 million.
Coffee Stain will continue to operate as an independent group under the parent company, a highly complementary third leg in THQ Nordic. Coffee Stain has a footprint in the Nordics and a highly competent team creating and publishing great games. Particular strengths are in creating new products focused to digital sales, retention, cross platform and multiplayer focus. Focus going forward will be on executing on the business plan, i.e. current business portfolio and new games pipeline. The plan is also to strengthen the publishing position in the Nordic market with A/AA developers and continue to evaluate minority investments in conjunction with publishing opportunities. In addition to this, THQ Nordic sees potential for synergies within distribution, marketing, know-how and IP development.
Anton Westbergh will remain as CEO of Coffee Stain and will report to Group CEO Lars Wingefors.