Mechwarrior Online’s Piranha Games is being bought out for $24M+

    
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If you were a bit surprised to see MechWarrior Online perk back up this fall after a long period of neglect in the wake of MechWarrior 5’s development, then it’s all going to make sense shortly, as apparently the studio behind both titles, Piranha Games, is being bought out.

“Enad Global 7 AB (publ) (“EG7” or the “Company”) has today entered into an agreement with the shareholders of Canadian game developer Piranha Games Inc. (“Piranha Games”) to acquire 100 percent of Piranha Games (the “Transaction”) for an aggregate purchase price of approximately CAD 31.4 million, equivalent of SEK 207 million, on a cash- and debt- free basis (the “Purchase Price”). The Purchase Price paid in cash and in newly issued EG7 shares. Piranha Games is one of Canada’s oldest independent game developers and is most famous for the latest entries into the MechWarrior franchise. Through the acquisition, EG7 gains a reputable team of 65 people in the studio in Vancouver, Canada. For the 12-month period ending on 30 September 2020, Piranha Games generated net sales of approximately CAD 22.7 million, equivalent of SEK 150 million, and EBITDA of approximately CAD 8.6 million, equivalent of SEK 56 million. The EBITDA-multiple on the Purchase Price therefore amounts to 3.7x EBITDA.”

That’s about $24M US, if you’re wondering, and Enad Global 7 is a Swedish publisher. According to Enad’s press release, Piranha will continue operating and reporting independently; its owners stand to earn an additional $48M in cash and shares over the next five years if the company performs to expectations. Piranha hasn’t issued a statement of its own yet as I type this, prompting speculation and freakouts from players.

“December is going to be an exciting month for MWO, with holiday events and sales, and the final preparation for launching the MWO initiative in January 2021,” the devs promised in Monday’s update. “This will include a townhall-style broadcast in early December, where Russ will discuss the plans for MWO going into the new year in greater detail, and answer questions from the community.”

Source: Press release. Cheers, Panagiotis.
Update
The company has now announced it is delaying the Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC to spring 2021. It’s also confirmed the buyout, suggested it will benefit the MMO eventually, and promised a deeper-dive soon.

“With the recent acquisition of Piranha Games by EG7, we have even more resources available to support these efforts. We will leverage this new relationship to take our MechWarrior titles to the next level, and increase our growth and presence globally. We understand that this news is not ideal for those that have been waiting to purchase the game on Steam or another platform, or for those that have been ready to dive into Heroes of the Inner Sphere, but we promise that the wait will be worth it. […] [H]ow will this decision affect MechWarrior Online? It won’t! There will be no impact on our MechWarrior Online initiatives, and in fact this will likely benefit MWO in the long run by bringing more eyes to our multiplayer PvP MechWarrior experience. By the release of MW5 in Spring 2021, we should be well on our way towards implementing significant updates to MWO, including exciting improvements to the new player experience, making sure we’re ready for new players.”

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Paragon Lost

As a fan of franchise dating back to the original Tabletop game from FASA and then the online GEnie version from Kesmai, I found Piranha’s version very lacking. I’m hoping that this buyout will lead to something better for the franchise. Though I honestly don’t really hold much hope if I am being bluntly honest with myself.

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Arktouros

I am like a huge fan of anything Mechwarrior/Battletech related. I quite literally got into online gaming because of Mechwarrior 2 online game play on Kali. However I could never get into any of Piranha’s take on the series. The lack of 3rd person at launch was a huge turn off coming off years of Mechwarrior games where it was an option. Even then once they eventually added it to the game the monetization strategy was just bonkers asking for hundreds of dollars for mech packs. Then the final salt in the wound was making Mechwarrior 5 Mercs an EGS exclusive.

Thankfully Harebrained had me covered with their wonderful Battletech game instead.

Turing fail
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Turing fail

Thanks for reminding me about Harebrained’s Battletech- love that game.

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PanagiotisLial1

It is a pity harebrained moved into another direction and wont make BT games anymore. There are a lot of deep player mods for it though

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Eamil

That is a shame after the number of questions that used to be answered with “in success more things are possible.”

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Paragon Lost

Where did you read that? I thought Jordan was invested in really promoting and expanding this. Haven’t they done like two or three expansions for it?

Crap found and article from earlier this year breaking it down. ☹

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PanagiotisLial1

Yes it couldnt get more official, it was from mitch:

I also asked mitch on twitter if they could make any other BT universe based game once they are done with their current projects(mentioned but not named nor described in the video) and he responded saying its highly unlikely but never say never

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Paragon Lost

I really want a mmorts version of this.

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PanagiotisLial1

They made a rts mod for MW5 Mercs(the community) and No Guts No Galaxy has been demonstrating it at times
check this link to see what it is about

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Paragon Lost

Oh?! Thanks, I’ll check it out. 👍🙂

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PanagiotisLial1

It feels weird, from one side its good to see they will get some financial stability to work on the titles and potentially hire to be able to work both games more efficiently and from the other we dont know what it means yet on what will be the focus for Piranha going forward nor if there will be personnel changes

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Sleepy

Huh. Are people still playing this in any numbers, and spending money on it? Or are EG7 buying it for the license?

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Armsman

With the way Piranha’s been running it; probably the latter. Who knows though, if the management turns out to be decent (although I’m skeptical); maybe they’ll finally be able to turn the game around.

If they let the current Piranha management continue; then no I don’t think anything will change with respect to the game. They talk a lot but in the end deliver nothing of note overall; and then make a long list of excuses as to why what they had planed didn’t happen.

Sufo
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Sufo

PGI does not own the license for MechWarrior so it’s doubtful it is that. They lease the license from Microsoft who still owns the MechWarrior and MechAssault licenses. They just renewed the license this year so they have the license for MW for another 4 and a half years or so I believe.

They say the player base is hovering around 20k-30k players but as an active player in the game for MWO I can’t see how this is true unless an insane amount of those people are in the lowest skill tier. The game itself has been in a sort of maintenance mode for a while now so I don’t see the consistent playerbase spending money actively in it except for new players.

Really wondering why this acquisition happened myself knowing how the game has fared from a players perspective these past few years.