Mobile Division of SEGA Strengthens Western Portfolio By Acquiring Demiurge and Investing in Ignited Artists and Space Ape Games
TOKYO & LONDON & BOSTON & SAN FRANCISCO — (BUSINESS WIRE) — February 18, 2015 — SEGA Networks is proud to announce a trio of investments aimed at bolstering its foothold in the Western market. First, it has acquired Demiurge Studios*, the independent game maker out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. It also has established a majority share in San Francisco-based Ignited Artists, a gaming start-up currently prototyping their first title. Additionally, SEGA Networks has made a strategic investment in UK-based gaming studio Space Ape Games. A top five publisher in Japan, SEGA Networks is investing heavily in the West and with its latest acquisitions and investments, the publisher is further leveraging its global footprint.
“We’re constantly evaluating the independent mobile game space for studios that fit our vision of fun, high-quality gameplay experiences,” said Haruki Satomi, CEO of SEGA Networks. “Demiurge underscores our commitment to investing in the West and complements our current roster of US and European mobile studios, including Three Rings and Hardlight. In addition, our strategic investments in Ignited Artists and Space Ape Games solidifies our commitment to publishing quality games across the globe.”
Founded in 2002, Demiurge Studios made the transition into mobile gaming in 2008 and found success with Marvel® Puzzle Quest™, a top 100 grossing app on the App Store and top 50 grossing on Google Play. Previously, they worked with world-class developers like BioWare™ and Irrational Games™ on AAA console and PC games. CEO Albert Reed will be joining SEGA Networks as VP of Product Management while also retaining his title of studio head. Demiurge Studios is based in the Boston area and will continue to make games under the Demiurge Studios name.
"Demiurge and SEGA share a vision for the future of mobile gaming: putting gamers first," said Albert Reed, GM of Demiurge Studios and VP of Product Management at SEGA Networks. "In today's mobile games you must listen to your players and find new ways to keep them engaged. Our success with Marvel Puzzle Quest comes from our focus on iterative design and testing, with our players in mind. Joining SEGA Networks lets us align with a truly global partner that shares our approach to design, so together we can create the kinds of entertaining, fun and engaging games we all want to make."
SEGA Networks has also made a majority investment in Ignited Artists, an independent mobile gaming studio based in San Francisco, led by chief executive Danielle Deibler, former Activision vice president Alessandro Tento, and Mobile Gaming Hall of Fame inducted-designer Scott Foe. The three gaming veterans, currently developing their debut title, combines over four decades of experience at companies like Kixeye, Big Head Mode, Nokia, Activision Blizzard, EA, Microsoft Game Studios, and SEGA.
“Our world-class team benefits greatly from the marketing prowess and global publishing arm of SEGA Networks,” said Danielle Deibler, CEO of Ignited Artists. “With this partnership, we have the opportunity to develop properties on our own terms alongside a partner with a proven track record and shared vision.”
Rounding out the investments is a minority stake in UK-based Space Ape Games, and a partnership in which SEGA Networks helps bring select Space Ape titles to the Japanese market. SEGA Networks is a global leader in the mobile space where they have found success with games like Puyo Puyo!! Quest™, Chain Chronicle™, Sonic Dash™, and Crazy Taxi™ City Rush.
"We are delighted to partner with a company with the gaming pedigree of SEGA," says Space Ape CEO and Founder John Earner. "Our last release, Samurai Siege, was a success in the Japanese mobile market. Japan is now our second-largest market and contributes around a third of our revenues. With SEGA Network’s experience and record of success, we are confident that Rival Kingdoms, our next game, and future titles will be able to improve upon this success."
Along with the minority stake in Space Ape Games and the majority share of Ignited Artists, Demiurge will join Three Rings Studio™ (2011) and Hardlight Studio™ (2012) as SEGA Networks continues to expand their global reach.
*Union Square Advisors LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor, and Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC acted as legal advisor to Demiurge Studios.
About SEGA Networks:
Established in July 2012, SEGA Networks Co., Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of SEGA Corporation, focused on creating fun, compelling and engaging entertainment for mobile and tablet devices. Offering titles that feature iconic SEGA® intellectual property such as Sonic Dash™ and Crazy Taxi™ City Rush to original content like the hit-title Chain Chronicle™, SEGA Networks Co., Ltd is committed to bringing a wide variety of quality digital entertainment to a global audience.
About Demiurge Studios:
Creating games is our passion. Founded in 2002, we bring years of development expertise to our projects. As part of SEGA Networks, our developers focus on creating fun, accessible mobile games like our recent hit, Marvel Puzzle Quest. Based in Cambridge, MA, Demiurge has contributed to titles such as Bioshock, Borderlands, and Mass Effect.
About Ignited Artists:
Ignited Artists is a talent-focused, hardcore mobile gaming studio based in San Francisco, California. In February 2015, Ignited Artists raised significant Series A round investment from SEGA Networks.
About Space Ape Games:
Space Ape Games is a London-based mobile games studio founded in 2012 by gaming and tech start up veterans - John Earner, CEO (ex-Playfish, PlayStation), Toby Moore, CTO (ex-Mind Candy) and Simon Hade, CFO/COO (ex-Electronic Arts, Skype). With extensive experience on some of the biggest games on Facebook and the Internet, the company’s aspiration is to create the highest quality, most entertaining free-to-play multiplayer games for smartphones and tablets.
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Rachel Steinberg, 415-900-9569