Devolver Digital is expanding with the announcement of a new M&A deal. The indie publisher has acquired System Era Softworks, which will become its seventh subsidiary.
The initial consideration for the System Era acquisition is $22 million, and the total value of the deal could reach up to $40 million through a combination of cash and shares.
As explained by Devolver Digital, the acquisition represents a strategic opportunity for the company to “expand outside of its core strenght of premium indie titles” and leverage the studio’s live ops technology and experience in creating “expandable games” (those being supported and developed for years).
System Era’s main asset is its sandbox space adventure game Astroneer, which will be added to Devolver’s portfolio. According to the announcement, the title has been played by over 13 million people since its launch in December 2016, with a lifetime revenue of over $87 million.
Devolver also noted that in the preceding 12-month period to June 30, 2023, System Era reached revenue of $7 million and EBITDA (earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortization) of $3.8 million.
The studio, which currently employs 50 people, will keep its leadership and core team.
“This partnership, working in-house with Devolver, lets us focus on what we love, the way we love to do it,” System Era said in a statement. “We don’t shed independence lightl. But with Devolver, we don’t think System Era is losing independence, we think it’s finding a home among a like-minded confederation of talented people, under a banner that is synonymous with the indie ethos, and we can’t wait to continue our journey, together.”
Devolver Digital now owns seven studios
In addition to System Era, the list includes:
- Croteam — Croatian studio founded in 1992; it is best known for the Serious Sam series and the puzzle game The Talos Principle (acquired by Devolver in October 2020);
- Good Shepherd Entertainment — Dutch publisher, whose founding partners were Devolver Digital co-founders; its portfolio includes titles like Transport Fever, Redeemer, and Hard West (acquired by Devolver in January 2021);
- FireFly Studios — UK game developer founded in 1999; it is best known for the Stronghold series (acquired by Devolver in November 2021);
- Nerial — UK studio, which rose to fame with its successful strategy card game / medieval king simulator Reigns, as well as its sequels and adventure card title Card Shark (acquired by Devolver in November 2021);
- Dodge Roll — Washington, DC-based developer known for its bullet hell / roguelike hit Enter the Gungeon (acquired by Devolver in November 2021);
- Doinksoft — US studio best known for metroidvania Gato Roboto and its latest platformer Gunbrella (acquired by Devolver in April 2023).