Pearl Abyss Acquires ‘EVE Online’ Creator CCP Games for $425 Million
In an interview with GamesBeat, CCP Games chief executive officer Hilmar Veigar Petursson noted, “We saw a lot of synergy between our plans and their plans and between our cultures and backgrounds and DNA. It might not be obvious of the synergy between an Iceland private company and a Korean public company, but through our games, we found we had a lot in common.”
The $425 million price tag includes bonus and cash earn-outs so long as specific financial targets are reached. At this time, the revenue is set to retain CCP employees, as the company believes EVE Online has the potential to remain popular and profitable, despite recently becoming free-to-play. The next focus includes re-releasing the game in China, with Petursson noting, “Another aspect is that Asia’s public markets value gaming companies quite high at multiples versus the West.”
Petursson also mentioned an interest in creating an action-focused massively multiplayer online game utilizing the Unreal Engine.
CCP Games, which is best known for creating the space-based, persistent world MMORPG EVE Online, will continue to operate independently from its studios in London, Shanghai and Reykjavik, while integrating the company’s publishing and development experience into Pearl Abyss’ future operations. The acquisition is set to close October 12.
Deutsche Bank has been appointed as the financial advisor to Pearl Abyss. The Raine Group will act as CCP Games’ financial advisor. LOGOS, White & Case LLP, and Kim & Change will provide legal counsel.
Pearl Abyss’ major online offering, Black Desert Online, currently has around 9.5 million players. The player-base is expected to increase following the acquisition of a company that has a larger global presence in online games. With 15 years of digital distribution experience, CCP Games is a behemoth in global publishing and has a reputation of engaging with their player-base, which should aid Pearl Abyss in further developing massively multiplayer online games moving forward.