The Finnish game developer Housemarque was taken over by Sony Interactive Entertainment last week. But there were also other interested parties.
the essentials in brief
About a week ago Sony announced the takeover of the game developer Housemarque.
However, there were apparently a few other interested parties who were interested in the acquisition.
The Finnish studio was most recently involved in the PS5 exclusive “Returnal”.
Unsurprisingly, it was announced last week that Housemarque would be acquired by Sony Interactive. The Finnish game developer has worked with the Japanese company on several occasions in the past. Sony was not the only interested buyer, as the manager has now clarified.
Housemarque was in demand all over the world
To the Finnish “Yleisradio”, Ilari Kuittinen revealed that there were various interested parties from China, Sweden and the USA. In his words, these were “the usual suspects”. At least in America, Microsoft is likely to have clearly reported itself to be Sony’s most important competitor.
For the Asian region, for example, the mobile giant Tencent would be conceivable as a buyer, in Sweden the Embracer Group would be an option. However, the Housemarque boss did not name any names.
The collaboration between Housemarque and Sony was already successful with the shooter “Returnal”. So fans can definitely look forward to more big AAA titles from the Finnish developer for the PlayStation.
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Jim Ryan, Head of Sony Interactive Entertainment, recently spoke about cross-play on the PlayStation. They want to support and encourage it.
the essentials in brief
Even today, the PlayStation is a major stumbling block for cross-play games.
However, the head of Sony Interactive Entertainment wants more cross-platform titles.
In the interview, the CEO speaks of a “consistent cross-play policy”.
The fact that players can gamble with one another regardless of the platform is becoming more and more standard today. This is also underlined by the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) Jim Ryan to “Axios”. They want to offer more cross-play in multiplayer titles in the future, but is that really true?
Sony has its own rules
In the past, the PlayStation was often the biggest hurdle for game developers who wanted to integrate cross-play. Until 2018, the company refused to allow cross-platform games. This out of fear that gamers will play the games on the PlayStation but make their in-game purchases elsewhere.
That still seems to be the case today, as Fortnite boss Tim Sweeny recently revealed. Fortnite still has to give up some of the income from in-game purchases if they don’t happen on the PlayStation. According to Sweeny, no other platform requires license fees for cross-play, as reported in “Eurogamer”.
Cross-play policy will remain in place
Some titles such as Borderlands 3 therefore have cross-play with all platforms except the PlayStation. Ryan refused to give a specific reason for this, simply claiming that “our guidelines are the same across all publishers”.
The SPAC hype continues: In a so-called De-Spac, the online sports retailer Signa Sports United wants to merge with a SPAC and thus go on the New York Stock Exchange. By merging with Yucaipa Acquisition Corporation, the new company will be valued at approximately $ 3.2 billion.
The previous shareholders of the sports retailer bring all of their shares into the new listed stock corporation. Signa Sports, which belongs to the Austrian investor and Karstadt owner René Benko, includes portals such as Fahrrad.de, Tennis Point and Outfitter.
The merger also includes the acquisition of WiggleCRC, an online bicycle dealer. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021, after which the shares of Signa Sports United will be traded on the NYSE.
As far as is known, this is the first De-SPAC, which, in addition to the actual company merger with the target company, also ensures the financing of another major company acquisition taking place at the same time.
The transaction will provide Signa Sports with gross proceeds of up to $ 645 million based on the contribution of up to $ 345 million in cash held in Yucaipa’s escrow account. Second, the proceeds will be generated through a fully subscribed issue of shares to new investors for $ 300 million.
Berlin-based Signa Sports United has a reach of more than seven million active customers and nearly 500 million online shop visitors per year.
So-called Spacs (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) are corporate shells that were founded in order to later bring other companies to the stock exchange through mergers, for example.
Adviser to Signa Sports Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom: Stephan Hutter (capital markets law; Frankfurt), Howard Ellin (both lead), Kenneth Wolff (both New York), Dr. Jan Bauer (all M&A), Dr. Johannes Frey (tax law; both Frankfurt), Victor Hollender (tax law), Erica Schohn (Executive Compensation & Benefits; both New York), Michelle Gasaway (corporate; Los Angeles), Caspar Schmelzer; Associates: Lukas Greilich, Sebastian Burgis, Christoph Bender (all capital market law), Dr. Emanuel Ionescu (all Frankfurt), Kyle Tuckman, Sarah Wolpert (both New York; all M&A), Dr. Frank Schwarz (tax law; Frankfurt), Moshe Jacob, Bram Strochlic (both corporate / restructuring; both New York)
Seitz (Cologne): Dr. Stefan Seitz, Dr. Johannes Traut (lead), Dr. Andreas von Medem; Associate: Shirin Imani (all labor law)
Adviser to Signa Sports United and Signa International Sports Holding McDermott Will & Emery (Frankfurt): Dr. Kian Tauser (co-lead), Dr. Heiko Kermer (both tax law), Dr. Matthias Kampshoff, Dr. Philipp Grenzebach (both Düsseldorf), Eleanor West (London), Dr. Jan Hückel (Düsseldorf; both for takeover of Wiggle / CRC Group; all corporate / M & A), Christian Krohs (antitrust law; Düsseldorf); Associates: Sebastian Bonk (co-lead), Sebastian Klein (both Düsseldorf), Daniel Ross (London; all Corporate / M & A), Dr. Florian Schiefer (tax law), Carina Kant (antitrust law; Düsseldorf)
Adviser to SPAC Kirkland & Ellis (Munich): Dr. Achim Herfs (capital market law), Dr. Sebastian Häfele (Associate; both lead), Marshall Shaffer, David Feirstein (all M & A / Private Equity); Christian Nagler, Aslam Rawoof (both capital market law; all New York); Daniel Hiemer (tax law); Associates: Christina Albath, Dr. Tamara Zehentbauer, Dr. Johannes Rowold, Jennifer Gasser, Giorgia Nagalli (all M & A / Private Equity; both New York), Fabrice Hipp (Finance), Lena Yoon (M&A; New York)
Schweibert Leßmann & Partner (Frankfurt): Rüdiger Hopfe (lead), Dr. Simone Kühnast (Berlin; both labor law)
Adviser to banks Latham & Watkins: Dr. Oliver Seiler (Frankfurt), Erika Weinberg (New York); Associate: Dr. Camilla Kehler-Weiß (Frankfurt), Paul Rafla (New York; all capital market law)
Adviser to Aeon Gleiss Lutz (Stuttgart): Dr. Michael Burian (lead; M&A), Dr. Stephan Aubel (capital markets law; Frankfurt); Associates: Dr. Christopher Vogl, Dr. Torsten Spiegel (Berlin; both M&A), Jannik Hermes (Corporate; Frankfurt), Kyoko Mogi (M&A)
background: The well-known capital market lawyer and Skadden partner Hutter is known for his good relations with Austria and is particularly active for the well-known investor and multi-billionaire René Benko.
The well-known labor lawyer Seitz and his team regularly advise Signa.
Nauta Dutilh (Dutch law) and Walkers (Cayman) also advised Signa.
McDermott Will & Emery supported Signa Sports United and its majority shareholder Signa International Sports Holding in structuring the corporate group under corporate and tax law as well as in the takeover of the Wiggle / CRC Group.
Kirkland & Ellis advises numerous SPACs and De-SPACs in the USA. The mandate came about through the contact of a partner from the New York office. Loyens & Loeff is responsible for Dutch law.
Latham is one of the leading units in IPOs with the Frankfurt partner Seiler and is regularly mandated on the banking side.
With its renowned Japan Desk, Gleiss has already advised Aeon on its participation in Signa Sports 2018 and the increase in this participation in 2019. (Claudia Otto; with material from dpa)