When the deal is approved by the shareholders of the company during an extraordinary general meeting on June 12th, Swedish Payday 2 and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons creator, Starbreeze Studios, will acquire browser-based AAA game-engine Valhalla for 3.3 million Starbreeze Studios shares, equivalent to approximately $8.6 million.
The Valhalla game engine has been in development for the past four years, and the leading Valhalla architect have joined Starbreeze as part of the acquisition deal in order to ensure a smooth transfer of the technology, and the continued development of the engine.
The engine itself is browser-based and touts itself as an AAA engine that is both 3D and virtual reality ready, already having been tested with several virtual reality headsets currently on the market. And according to Starbreeze CEO, Bo Andersson, the engine will help take Starbreeze Studio to the next level, technology-wise.
“By acquiring Valhalla we gain access to a powerful future proofed engine and production pipeline. This will gear us up to take on the challenges and opportunities in future game development. In essence, we leapfrog the build out of a new first class development environment several years and increase our commitment as a technology company,” Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint says.
Starbreeze’s own game engine, Diesel 2.0, will still be used for the PAYDAY franchise, and the game engine will thus be maintained for the near future, to be used in PAYDAY 2, RAID: World War II and other future games.
Instead, the Valhalla engine will be used primarily for the development of “The Walking Dead” and “Storm”, as well as other OVERKILL Software titles.
OVERKILL Software was acquired by Starbreeze Studios back in 2012, and according to Michael Hjorth, a Starbreeze Chairman, the acquisition strategy has always been preferred at Starbreeze Studios, having also acquired California-based developer and publicher Geminose INC. back in September 2014 for $7 million in Starbreeze shares.
“Investing in a major technology leap like this is of outmost importance for our aggressive taking of market share. Acquiring technology, know-how and brands is in our expansion strategy and after a long collaboration we are convinced this will be a massive value add to the company long term.” said Michael Hjorth, Starbreeze Chairman.
2015 has been a busy year for Starbreeze Studios. In January, the studio sold its Brothers – a Tale of Two Sons franchise to 505 games after some of the most important people in the creation of the original game left Starbreeze to join Brothers-creator Josef Fares in his newly founded game studio, Hazelight.
And then again in early May 2015, Starbreeze was struck by another hit as the studios’ co-founder and former Creative Director, Ulf Andersson, left the company.
With the acquisition of Valhalla, however, Starbreeze Studios have secured some fresh blood for the Swedish-based studio, which was founded all the way back in 1998.