Unity has acquired GAME’s Multiplay Digital business for £19m, the High Street retailer announced this morning, with an initial transaction of £17.1m and £1.9m in escrow for 19 months.
GAME initially acquired Multiplay in March 2015 for £20m. The company runs Insomnia and GAME’s Belong arenas, with Multiplay Digital being the firm’s server hosting division, which includes hosting Tripwire’s Killing Floor 2, Bohemia’s DayZ, Respawn’s Titanfall 2 and Ready at Dawn’s Deformers.
Multiplay’s events and Belong arenas will remain under GAME’s remit.
GAME CEO Martyn Gibbs commented: "This transaction is a significant strategic step forward for GAME Digital. By divesting Multiplay Digital we simplify the Group and focus management on accelerating development plans to fully capitalise on the strong growth potential in our exciting and growing esports activities, including Belong. We now look forward to further developing GAME Digital as we seek to combine multichannel retail, events and esports.”
He continued: "We are delighted to have transacted with such a strong new owner for our Multiplay Digital business and its highly talented team."
This emphasis on GAME’s esports activities is in line with what Martyn Gibbs told MCV in last week’s issue, saying that “the launch of Belong has been really encouraging” and that the firm was “aiming to get to 35 operational [gaming arenas] by the end of the full year 2018.”
Earlier this November, GAME reported a pre-tax loss of £10m for the year ending July 2017, but its BELONG and Multiplay esports business saw sales grow 116.4 per cent to £13.2m, the bulk of which came from Multiplay, sales from which more than doubled. Meanwhile, Multiplay Digital reported a loss of £800,000.
Earlier this year, we talked to the team at Multiplay, who discussed their 15 years of experience in hosting games and enthused about Titanfall 2’s success.