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Hachette UK acquires mobile games studio Neon Play

Hachette UK has bought mobile games development studio Neon Play in a ‘substantial acquisition’ that could be the ‘one of several’ purchases in the apps market for the publisher, reports the Bookseller. Founded by UK co-owners Oli Christie and Mark Allen in 2010, Neon Play has created over 30 games and attracted 60 million downloads. The acquisition will see the company continue to create, develop and market new mobile games, including books-related games, as a standalone business, as well working on app development not related to games. Hachette UK CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson said ‘a relatively small number’ of Hachette books—between five and 10—would be developed into games each year, with a particular focus on ‘children’s books of every age and science fiction books’. The acquisition is ‘designed to lead to substantial revenues’, said Hely Hutchinson, and marks a ‘serious first step in making [Hachette’s] business more digital’. Commenting further on the relationship between games and book publishing, Hely Hutchinson said he anticipates trade and educational publishers will be ‘50% digital’ in the future, and called gaming ‘part of the future of the book industry’. ‘Ebooks are so similar to print books that they barely count as digital objects,’ said Hely Hutchinson. ‘What people are really looking for with the digital world is more interactivity […] you’re not just looking at something, you’re directly involved. And that’s where we want to be.’


Category: International news Rights and acquisitions