Thunderful Group, a Swedish video game holding company based in Gothenburg, has acquired German developer and publisher Headup, founded in January 2009 by Dieter Schoeller. The company is best known for publishing the Bridge Constructor series of games developed by ClockStone.
The Swedish group will pay $6M in cash with up to an additional $7.3M million in cash and shares based on Headup’s performance over the next three years. The acquisition is expected to be finalized by March 31. Headup, however, will continue to operate as an independent publisher and developer.
Headup has published a variety of games in the past decade, including the aforementioned Bridge Constructor series, the adventure game Trüberbrook, and the Epic MegaGrant-funded action game Pumpkin Jack. The company’s 14 employees will stay on, with Headup CEO Dieter Schoeller assuming a new role as head of publishing at Thunderful Games, overseeing publishing in both Sweden and Germany.
Headup is currently developing an unannounced game based on a “world-renowned IP.” The first Bridge Constructor, a physics-based simulation-puzzle game, was released on December 1, 2011, and has been followed by five other games, including 2020’s Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead. In each game, players must plan out a bridge across a river or ravine. The goal is to make sure that one or more vehicles driving across the bridge can reach the other side safely.
This is the fourth acquisition for Thunderful in the past year. The company bought Swedish studio Guru Games back in January 2020, followed by UK studio Coatsink Software in October and Swedish developer Station Interactive in November.
In December, CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson told GamesIndustry.biz, “”This year, the synergies have just been fantastic as we’ve gathered all of the owners of the companies rather than having them spread out in various co-ownerships. It’s accelerated everything we do.”
“We want to take the cash flow from the distribution part of our business and pour it into the games development and publishing part. That means we already have a stable business. We’re not going to the market in the hopes of succeeding — it’s more that we want to accelerate what we are doing. It’s a low-risk investment in gaming,” he added.
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