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Wargaming Acquires Gas Powered Games

Wargaming announces it has stepped in to rescue troubled developer Gas Powered Games from the brink of closure following the cancellation of the Kickstarter for Wildman, GPG's Hail Mary action/RPG/RTS:

14th February, 2013 - Wargaming, the leading free-to-play MMO developer and publisher, today announced its agreement to acquire Seattle-based developer Gas Powered Games, the maker of memorable and critically acclaimed franchises such as Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander and Demigod.

Wargaming will take full ownership of Gas Powered Games, bringing into its fold a contingent of veteran developers, including CEO and company founder Chris Taylor. The acquisition will further bolster Wargaming's push into multiplatform expansion, including the recent acquisition announcement of Chicago-based Day 1 Studios and MMO middleware provider Big World Pty Ltd.

"Gas Powered Games' heritage and development pedigree shows us just how valuable an addition Chris and his company will make to the Wargaming family," said Victor Kislyi, CEO of Wargaming. "Gas Powered Games has a long track record of providing incredibly engaging AAA gaming experiences and we can't wait to start working with them."

"Wargaming growth in recent years has been tremendous, and we're looking forward to joining one of the fastest growing gaming companies in the world," added Chris Taylor, CEO of Gas Powered Games. "I'm sure our experience and expertise will help us contribute even more to Wargaming's global success."

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26. Re: Wargaming Acquires Gas Powered Games Feb 14, 2013, 15:16 WaltC
 
I agree that there's no question that GPG went for less than it would have had Chris decided to sell the company on the quiet a few months ago. He really hurt his company valuation with his desperado videos. Apparently, it sure seems like Wargaming was the only company stepping up to the plate to buy GPG, and that there was no competitive bidding among companies--Wargaming looks like "it" for interest in GPG.

But I think the experience Chris has along with his GPG employees is near invaluable--hard to even put a dollar amount on that kind of experience and talent, imo. And I also think GPG has a lot of valuable IP, too, which is something many other studios just don't have. I think GPG is worth far more than mere "payroll liabilities" to someone who understands that "bean counters will not successful games make"...;) Here's the thing, though: we don't know what and for how much GPG was sold. It's entirely possible that Chris might've retained ownership of some of that prior IP if not all of it. Or, he may have had to sell everything at clearance prices.

GPG was not in debt, IIRC, so Chris may have been a bit less desperate than you might think--and I don't think he was so desperate that he would have made a bad deal to keep going. I also think he primarily did this for the sake of his employees, too.

Some very positive stuff here for Chris...he doesn't have to shoulder the financial responsibility for the company along with the creative responsibility, and I think he will relish his new role inside Wargaming. I know that I would. If I was Wargaming, I'd care far less about the previous GPG IP than I would about the kinds of future games he could get out of the GPG crew--that's really where the company's value shines, imo.

Wildman was a hasty stab, no doubt about it. Another thought I had about Wildman is that GPG was planning on using some of its Empire-destined code base (consigned to limbo when Microsoft cancelled its arrangement with GPG)--and "Wildman" was what they were planning just to throw on top of that code to some extent. Hence the technological development stages Chris talked about for Wildman, etc.

I also think that Chris is the kind of person who would not have done the deal if he couldn't bring *everybody* with him, at least initially. I might be wrong but I doubt if he left anyone behind. I think that your evaluation and Wargame's rational for buying GPG are very different...;)
 
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