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THQ Nordic acquires Coffee Stain Studios and Bugbear Entertainment

Goat Simulator developer Coffee Stain Studios and racing games specialist Bugbear Entertainment have been purchased by THQ Nordic, the company announced today.

Sweden-based Coffee Stain was acquired for SEK 317m (£26.8m), which includes both its developing and publishing arms, plus the intellectual property rights to Satisfactory, Goat Simulator, Sanctum and publishing rights to Deep Rock Galactic. The announcement added that THQ Nordic expects the studio to grow and make SEK 200-250m (£16.9m to £21.1m) in net sales in the next financial year (April 2019 to March 2020). As a comparison, Coffee Stain made about SEK 53m (£4.4m) in the nine months period ended in September 2018.

The studio is currently working on PC title Satisfactory and the Switch version of Goat Simulator. It is also due to publish co-op FPS Deep Rock Galactic, currently in Early Access, and 16-bit action title Huntdown.

Coffee Stain CEO Anton Westbergh commented: “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."

THQ Nordic has also acquired 90 per cent of shares in Bugbear Entertainment for an undisclosed sum, “with an option to acquire the remaining 10 per cent in the future,” the announcement said. The Helsinki-based studio is known for its work on FlatOut from 2004 to 2007 and for demolition derby themed racing game Wreckfest, largely considered a spiritual successor to FlatOut and published by THQ Nordic in June 2018.

The announcement specified that this acquisition is seen as “a first step into the Finnish market” so we can expect THQ Nordic to invest more and more in the country.

Janne Alanenpää, CEO at Bugbear Entertainment, commented: “We are very excited to join forces with the THQ Nordic team. I believe THQ Nordic will become a perfect home for Bugbear to support our passion for games and for our customer. We look forward to accelerate our development of high quality racing games to contribute to THQ Nordic’s portfolio and future growth.”

THQ Nordic’s CEO Lars Wingefors added: “We have been working together with Janne Alanenpää and his team since 2016, and see continued great potential in Wreckfest as well as in Bugbear’s future games pipeline. Janne Alanenpää is a legend within action racing games, and the Bugbear team will bring important development capabilities earned from creating outstanding games during almost two decades. We are very excited to have been able to acquire Bugbear and their portfolio and our aim is to build Wreckfest together into a major franchise for THQ Nordic with the release to console coming up first in time.”

These two acquisitions were announced as THQ Nordic unveiled its financial results for Q3 2018, with net sales up an impressive 1,403 per cent year-on-year, reaching SEK 1,272.7m (£108m).

About Marie Dealessandri

Marie Dealessandri is MCV’s senior staff writer, having joined the publication during its days as a weekly magazine. After testing the waters of the film industry in France and being a radio host and reporter in Canada, she settled for the games industry in London in 2015. She can be found (very) occasionally tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate, Hollow Knight and the Dead Cells soundtrack.

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