Opera acquires YoYo Games and GameMaker Studio for $10m

Opera has announced that is has acquired the Dundee-based developer of 2D game engine GameMaker Studio, YoYo Games.

GameMaker Studio has long been a favourite of students and indie developers. The engine is responsible for breakout indie hits such as Spelunky, Undertale, Hotline Miami, Hyper Light Drifter and Nidhogg, among many more.

Stuart Poole, GM at YoYo Games stated, “For over twenty years, the vision behind the GameMaker engine was to not just create more games, but expand development within and beyond the game studio. We think the transaction with Opera – whose products are known, trusted and used worldwide by millions of people every month- represents a massive opportunity to accelerate fulfilment of that founding vision, during a period of exceptional growth for both companies.”

Opera sees teh acquisition as a strategic partner to its Opera GX gaming browser. With the new company forming the basis for a new division, Opera Gaming.

Krystian Kolondra, EVP Browsers at Opera, said: “With Opera GX, Opera had adapted its proven, innovative browser tech platform to dramatically expand its footprint in gaming. We’re at the brink of a shift, when more and more people start not only playing, but also creating and publishing games. GameMaker Studio2 is best-in-class game development software, and lowers the barrier to entry for anyone to start making their games and offer them across a wide range of web-supported platforms, from PCs, to, mobile iOS/Android devices, to consoles.

Annette De Freitas, Head of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, Opera Gaming, added: “Gaming is a growth area for Opera and the acquisition of YoYo Games reflects significant, sustained momentum across both of our businesses over the past year. Our new Opera GX browser hit 7 million MAUs in December, 2020, up 350% year over year, while YoYo Games’ GameMaker engine achieved 400K new registered creators in 2020. We’re tremendously excited by the opportunities the combination creates not only for our combined users, but also for the expansion of Opera’s gaming community.”

Both Poole and technical lead Russell Kay will remain with the company.

For more on GameMaker read our interview with the team for their recent 20th anniversary.?

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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