Team17 buys rival Yippee Entertainment

Team17's WW2 military simulation game Hell Let Loose
Team17's WW2 military simulation game Hell Let Loose
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Global video games developer Team17 has bought rival company Yippee Entertainment for £1.4m in a deal that will increase studio capacity and give it access to a new talent pool in the North West.

Wakefield-based Team17 said Yippee, which is based in MediaCityUK in Salford and run by industry veteran Mike Delves, will work with Team17 on new games and projects.

Team17, which is best known for the popular Worms video game series, said the £1.4m takeover will be made up of £922,407 in cash and shares in Team17 worth £433,200, with a three-year lock-in period.

The lock-in period means the shares cannot be sold until 2023.

Debbie Bestwick, chief executive of Team17, said: “MediaCityUK is a wonderful location for our second UK studio and the acquisition of Yippee allows us to accelerate our recruitment plans in the North West.”

Yippee is a multi-award winning software developer and digital publisher, focused on end-to-end production and creation of third-party games alongside its own IP.

Yippee will work on a combination of Team17-owned, original, and Games Label partners’ IP.

The studio’s team will continue to be run by Yippee’s chief executive Mr Delves, who is an industry veteran with over 30 years’ experience in senior positions at Hasbro, Acclaim and Ocean Software prior to forming Yippee in 2011.

The business will operate under Team17 as a wholly owned subsidiary.

At its last set of results, Team17 saw pre-tax profits jump to £10.4m in the six months to June, up from £31,000 over the same period in 2018.

The games developer saw profits surge after revenues almost doubled to £30.4m on the back of a mix of new launches and a solid performance from its back catalogue of titles.

Team17 said that 74 per cent of the group’s revenues came from its back catalogue, with a “solid selection” of third-party releases planned for the second half of the year, and plans to grow the business further by expanding its studio site.

The group now expects both adjusted earnings and revenue to be ahead of market expectations in its 2019 financial year.

The firm has been helped by the success of new releases such as WW2 military simulation game Hell Let Loose, My Time at Portia and Genesis Alpha One.

Team17 recently announced plans to launch a new game called The Survivalists this year, which will launch on Nintendo SwitchTM, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

The firm said the game, which was developed in-house, will involve players being shipwrecked on islands where they will train monkeys, gather resources, build structures and fight off threats.

Team17 said the game will combine the crafting, combat and building elements of The Escapists, another Team17 game that gives players “a light-hearted insight into everyday prison life with the main objective being that of escaping”.

In addition to single-player mode, The Survivalists will feature a session-based, online co-operative multiplayer element, as introduced in The Escapists 2.

Ms Bestwick said: “We were delighted to announce The Survivalists via our friends at Nintendo and to expand The Escapists’ universe.

“Building on existing franchises is an important growth pillar for Team17 and, more importantly, reflects the skill, dedication and creativity of our team.”