Disney Has Sold Its FoxNet Mobile Games Unit to Scopely
Disney has announced today that it sold off its FoxNext Games Los Angeles unit to the mobile games developer Scopely, the game studio that it purchased from 20th Century Fox. FoxNext Games is the studio behind the MARVEL Strike Force and various other popular titles. Disney also sold off Cold Iron Studios to the mobile game company.
Disney acquired FoxNext Games as part of its $71.3 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2018. FoxNext Games debuted the “Marvel Strike Force” title in March 2018 and ever since, this role-playing game has been one of the top mobile games for both Android and iOS. In its first year, it roped in over $150 million. The studio is also developing the highly popular massively multiplayer strategy game Avatar: Pandora Rising which is based on James Cameron’s movie Avatar.
However, the separate portfolio of Fox intellectual property licensed game titles is not part of the acquisition. This will continue to form part of Disney’s licensed games portfolio. The acquisition deal will close in a few weeks. Scopely has described the acquisition as a great deal and one that perfectly aligns with its M&A strategy.
After the close of the transaction, Scopely is planning to sell Cold Iron Studios as the studio focuses on building PC and console games while Scopely is strictly focused on the mobile games. Cold Iron Studios has 50 employees and the studio is currently creating an “Alien” shooter game.
In spite of the acquisition, Disney will not entirely divest of its full Fox gaming lineup. The company’s separate portfolio of Fox’s IP-licensed game were not part of the acquisition deal and are therefore going to continue to be a part of Disney’s licensed game business. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
Apart from its MARVEL Strike Force title, FoxNext also has another title, Storyscape, that was released in early 2019 and which offers users a choose-your-own-adventure tales that take place in the world of Titanic or The X-Files. Storyscape is part of Fogbank and has also not been included in the acquisition.
More recently, FoxNext Games Studio soft-launched Avatar: Pandora Rising which is a massive real-time strategy and social game set in Pandora drawn from the movie Avatar.
According to data from Sensor Tower, the MARVEL Strike Force has been downloaded over 26 million times to date. Storyscape topped some 1.7 million installs. The Avatar title is currently not broadly available as it is still under development. At present, it only has 100,000 downloads.
According to FoxNext’s website, a game that is based on the movie Alien is also coming soon. This had been acquired alongside FoxNext’s own deal for Cold Iron Studios in 2018.
Apart from growing its own existing business, Scopely has been keen on expanding its portfolio through M&A. According Scopely, FoxNext Games’ player-first approach also aligns perfectly with its focus on delivering unforgettable gaming experiences.
In the summer of 2019, Scopely hit more than one billion dollars in lifetime revenue. Last year, the company acquired DIGIT Game Studios which is the home to the top-grossing MMO/Strategy game Star Trek Fleet Command as well as the strategy MMO Kings of the Realm.
Scopely has had other top game titles such as Looney Tunes World of Mayhem, The Walking Dead: Road to Survival, Wheel of Fortune: Free Play, WWE Champions 2019, Dice with Ellen, Yahtzee with Buddies Dice Game, Scrabble Go and many more.
The latest acquisition brings another top-grossing game to its Scopely’s lineup. It also expands the company’s in-development pipeline and the company gains the expertise of the FoxNext team. Following the conclusion of the acquisition, FoxNext Games President Aaron Loeb will join Scopely for a newly created executive role. FoxNext Games SVP and GM Amir Rahimi will be leading FoxNext Games Los Angeles studio -now under Scopely- as president, games.