Starbreeze acquires AR/VR toys-to-life company ePawn

Alex Calvin
Starbreeze acquires AR/VR toys-to-life company ePawn

The latest purchase of Swedish games firm Starbreeze is France's ePawn, a company focused on virtual reality, augmented reality and toys-to-life.

Starbreeze announced it has paid out €4.5m (3.8m) in total; €4m (3.3m) in shares, and another €1.5m (1.3m) in cash.

For that figure, Starbreeze is also getting seven registered patents and nine members of staff located in Paris.

With ePawn, we will significantly diversify our virtual reality and toys-to-life offerings, as well as speed up the development of existing internal projects already in the works,” Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint said.

The ePawn team has already innovated and productified their technologies and we acquire not only many good ways of applying them, but also a solid portfolio of patents that will benefit Starbreeze for many years to come.”

Starbreeze CTO Emmanuel Marquez added: For ePawn, I especially appreciate the location based entertainment applications, where for example the VR-mat will enable us to offer even more immersive experiences in our VR-centers. Additionally, the toys-to-life applications are numerous and the ability to technically track physical objects in our future games, such as Geminose, are really promising. The potential to be able to add augmented reality components to further enhance the gameplay for mobile devices are really exciting.”

Starbreeze is the studio best known for Payday 2, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.

The firm has been busy recently, acquiring a number of IPs from Cinemaware at the start of June, and partnering with tech firm Acer to release the StarVR headset. In late 2014, Starbreeze also acquired another toys-to-life company: LA-based Geminose for $7m. Meanwhile, Korean games firm Smilegate invested $40m in Starbreeze.

In May 2015, Starbreeze also announced it was launching a publishing business.

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