Starbreeze AB, an independent creator publisher and distributor of high quality entertainment products, today announced its acquisition of the French toys to life, VR and augmented reality tech company ePawn for 4M EUR (approximately 37.8 MSEK) in Starbreeze B-shares and 1.5M EUR (approximately 14.2 MSEK) in cash.
“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,” said Bo Andersson Klint, Starbreeze CEO. “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.”
ePawn is a next generation VR and toys-to-life company merging real life gaming experiences with their digital counter part through its gaming boards and mats in table and room scale sizes. ePawn’s patented technology captures everything that happens on the game board and feeds digital applications with information. Up to 40 objects equipped with off-the-shelf NFC (Near Field Communication) tags can simultaneously be put into play on a game board and ePawn’s technology will calculate their position, orientation and altitude in real-time and at the millimeter level. ePawn has developed several versions of its technology to fit many gaming-related markets, such as video games, toys, board games and greatly enchanted augmented reality support between for example a toy and a mobile device.
Virtual reality applications include large and flexible flooring tiles that can be assembled to equip spaces with a solution for affordable positioning system capable of tracking several people in a room.
“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,” said Emmanuel Marquez, Starbreeze CTO. “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.”
With the acquisition comes seven registered patents and nine staff located in Paris, France. An additional earn-out consideration will be paid to the selling shareholders based on performance of the business in the coming years. The acquisition is not expected to significantly impact Starbreeze financial performance in near-term but is expected to unlock synergies related to several of Starbreeze ongoing and future projects and thereby generate incremental revenues long-term.