• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

THQ Nordic acquires Bugbear Entertainment (Wreckfest) and Coffee Stain Studios (Goat Simulator)

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
10,338
23,534
1,210
THQ Nordic acquires Bugbear Entertainment and Coffee Stain Studios

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:

Bugbear Entertainment

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.

Coffee Stain Studios

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.

Gematsu
 

Viliger

Member
Feb 2, 2015
336
164
280
Where the hell do they get the money? I always though of Nordic Games as literal who, now they are going around buying rights and studios with almost no value outside of very niche genres and games.
 

Ywap

Member
Aug 12, 2006
495
108
1,300
Good news, Bugbear is the no.1 racing studio on the planet!

Lots of love from Sweden :)
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
May 31, 2018
6,049
13,166
785
Leeds, UK
I can see the story of Nordic being the next Telltale. Spend all of your money aquiring IPs, take years to make a bunch of mediocre games that all release to a mixed reception and poor sales, collapse inwardly.

I wouldn't wish it on them, but boy, I cannot see this paying off.
 
Last edited:

Bullet Club

Member
Oct 24, 2017
10,338
23,534
1,210
This is how they can afford to buy these two devs:

THQ Nordic's net sales up 1,403% to $139.5m

For the three months ended September 30th, the publisher reported net sales of $139.5 million - a staggering year-on-year increase of 1,403% over the $9.3 million reported for the same period in 2017.

The reason for this growth is THQ's acquisition of Koch Media and Deep Silver earlier this year, effectively doubling the publisher's potential revenues. Titles by this segment saw sales of $27.6 million, with the release of Dakar 18 and Pathfinder Kingmaker cited as key performers - even though the latter launched less than a week before the end of the quarter.

Even without Deep Silver, THQ Nordic's own titles would have driven net sales up 47% year-on-year to $13.6 million. The launch of Titan Quest and Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered (both re-releases of hits from the previous incarnation of THQ) were highlighted as particular successes, as was This Is The Police 2.

Over the quarter, THQ Nordic published five of its own titles and nine from other studios, with the Partner Publisher business enjoying a strong quarter thanks to big releases from partners such as Codemasters, Square Enix and Sega.
 

Battlesmurf

Member
Jun 23, 2014
662
4
460
California
I'm wondering if they need to slow down a little bit and focus on the quality//output of the studios they own rather than getting too big for their own good. With the volatility of game studios in general these days I'd hate to see THQ eat it again.
 

Nikodemos

Member
May 25, 2013
8,373
130
610
Damn, one day there won't be any B-tier devs, since THQ Nordic would have bought them all.