Press

Next Games and Helsinki GameWorks

Helsinki, Finland  –  October 30 2014  –  Next Games, the mobile game developer and publisher based in Helsinki, Finland today announced the acquisition of Helsinki GameWorks, a Finnish mobile game startup.

The arrangement will further strengthen Next Games’ strategy to build a solid portfolio of diverse games, anchored by both internally developed and third party IP. This two-pronged approach gives Next Games a crucial competitive advantage and an exciting opportunity to create engaging experiences for a growing global mobile player base. With this strategy, the company aims to become a forerunner in the constantly evolving mobile games industry.

The acquisition of Helsinki GameWorks follows a close collaboration with the two companies earlier in 2014 wherein Next Games contracted senior experts from Helsinki GameWorks to work on its ongoing game productions. Both employees and Helsinki GameWorks’ intellectual property including games under development will transfer over to Next Games. Helsinki GameWorks employs 12 people and Next Games 33 people, making the total headcount 45.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Helsinki GameWorks’ employees to become a part of the Next Games family. At Next Games we’ve focused on two key areas from the very beginning: building a robust portfolio and rock solid roadmap of games as well as ensuring we have an experienced team working on it. Joining forces is a logical move, as our first games will launch very soon and the next productions are being ramped up. The veteran team and IP from Helsinki GameWorks will be a huge asset,” said Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO of Next Games.

“The whole Helsinki GameWorks team is truly excited to help form an even stronger Next Games together. To be able to work with such a talented veteran team on some of the most exciting IP in the world is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” commented Kalle Kaivola, CEO of Helsinki GameWorks.

Following the acquisition, Next Games has appointed Helsinki GameWorks’ CEO, Kalle Kaivola as Head of Licensed Games. He will be overseeing the production of The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land game based on AMC’s incredibly popular The Walking Dead TV series. Before founding Helsinki GameWorks, Kaivola held the position of SVP, Product and Publishing at Rovio Entertainment, the makers of Angry Birds.

Media enquiries:

Saara Bergström
[email protected]
+358504833896

About Next Games

Next Games, founded in 2013 by design veterans from Rovio, Supercell and Disney, focuses on crafting visually impressive, highly engaging games. Next Games has assembled a team with a profound love for games and a burning desire to develop lasting global entertainment. The company is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, at the heart of mobile games development, and funded by an elite list of investors. www.nextgames.com.

About Helsinki GameWorks

Helsinki GameWorks is an independent game development studio based in Helsinki, Finland. It was founded by a group of seasoned industry professionals focused on developing accessible mid-core mobile games.

Santa Monica, CA, & Helsinki, Finland – July 23, 2014 – As part of its recently-announced move into the gaming space, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, has formed a strategic partnership with the Finnish games developer Next Games and will make an investment in their extended Series A financing round, the two companies announced today.

The announcement follows Lionsgate’s recent appointment of games and digital media entrepreneur Peter Levin to be President of Interactive Ventures & Games. The collaboration re-affirms Next Games’ strategic approach of relying on intellectual property developed in-house complemented by strategically licensed properties.

Founded last year by gaming veterans from Rovio, Supercell and Disney, Next Games has assembled a team committed to creating lasting global entertainment brands by developing games with high end production values and engaging play experiences. Working in collaboration with AMC, they are currently developing a mobile free-to-play game based on the blockbuster TV series The Walking Dead as well as a game based on their own intellectual property.

“Gaming is a logical next step in extending our content portfolio, and we’re very excited about the potential of our partnership with Next Games,” said Levin. “Their management team has a proven track record of creating popular and successful brands for some of the industry leaders in the gaming space, and their passion, innovation and entrepreneurial culture are a perfect fit with our own. We see them as a prolific source of the next generation of games, creating exciting and engaging properties based on our franchises as well as new content that we develop together.”

“I couldn’t be happier to bring Lionsgate, one of the leading entertainment companies and premier content producers, on board with us. They have proven their strength in not only creating fascinating new stories for the world but doing a stellar job of marketing and turning them into blockbuster entertainment franchises,” said Next Games CEO Teemu Huuhtanen. Next Games announced the first part of its external investment round earlier this year, raising $6 million in financing from an elite list of institutional, strategic and private investors.

About Lionsgate

Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has over 30 television shows on more than 20 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy Anger Management, the network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show and the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black. Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, the first installment of the recently-launched Divergent franchise, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Warm Bodies, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, Roadside Attractions’ Mud and Pantelion Films’ breakout hit Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S. Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

About Next Games

Next Games, founded in 2013 by design veterans from Rovio, Supercell and Disney, focuses on crafting visually impressive, engaging games. Next Games has assembled a team with a profound love for games and a burning desire to develop lasting global entertainment. The company is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, at the heart of mobile games development, and funded by an elite list of private investors. www.nextgames.com.

Further enquiries:

Lionsgate
Peter D. Wilkes
[email protected]
310-255-3726

Next Games
Saara Bergström
[email protected]
+358504833896

New York, NY and Helsinki, Finland – July, 22 2014 – Next Games and AMC released today the first trailer for the new The Walking Dead mobile game, based on the incredibly popular AMC series. The never-before-seen trailer will also be shown at AMC’s The Walking Dead booth #4237 at Comic Con International in San Diego from July 24 – 27.

The game, titled The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land, will allow players to experience the world of the iconic show through gameplay exclusively developed for smartphones and tablet devices. Developed by Next Games in close collaboration with AMC, the game will feature themes familiar to the TV series, where characters fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic, walker-infested world. A recurring theme of choosing the right survival strategy and making the most human choices possible is at the heart of the first-of-its-kind game. The game launch will coincide with the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead Season 5 early next year.

The trailer can be seen at: http://youtu.be/_aiRboM4fok

“Our approach is to stay true to the main themes of the TV show: survival strategy, finding safety for your people, balancing between right and wrong and, of course, action when it comes to fighting against the hordes of walkers. We respect the creators of The Walking Dead immensely and want this game to portray the world they have created as closely as possible,” said Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO, Next Games.

Founded by design veterans from Rovio, Supercell and Disney, Next Games has assembled a team with a profound love for games and a burning desire to develop lasting global entertainment. In addition to the game based on The Walking Dead TV show, the studio is working on another title based on its own IP.

The Walking Dead returns for its fifth season this October. The series is the first cable drama in television history to beat all the fall broadcast shows in adults 18-49. The Walking Dead is based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics. The series tells the story of the months and years after a zombie apocalypse and follows a group of survivors, led by sheriff Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, Danai Gurira, Chad L. Coleman and Sonequa Martin-Green. The series is executive produced by Scott M. Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, David Alpert and Tom Luse.

Comic Con International in San Diego will take place July 24 – 27.

Trailer link: http://youtu.be/_aiRboM4fok
Website: www.thewalkingdeadnomansland.com
Facebook www.facebook.com/thewalkingdeadnomansland
Twitter: @twdnomansland www.twitter.com/twdnomansland

The Walking Dead: No Man's Land

 

About Next Games

Next Games, founded in 2013 by design veterans from Rovio, Supercell and Disney, focuses on crafting visually impressive, engaging games. Next Games has assembled a team with a profound love for games and a burning desire to develop lasting global entertainment. The company is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, at the heart of mobile games development and funded by an elite list of private investors. www.nextgames.com.

About AMC

Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade, or creating acclaimed original programming, AMC brings to its audience something deeper, something richer, Something More. The network reigns as the only cable network in history ever to win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row, and boasts the most-watched drama series in basic cable history with The Walking Dead. AMC’s original drama series include Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels, Turn, Halt and Catch Fire and the forthcoming Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul. AMC also explores authentic worlds with bold characters through its slate of unscripted original series like Comic Book Men, Small Town Security, Talking Dead, Game of Arms and Freakshow. AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, Sundance Channel, and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Something More.

Press Contacts:

Next Games
Saara Bergström
[email protected]
+358504833896

AMC
Olivia Dupuis
[email protected]
+12123244748

 

 

Helsinki, Finland – The Finnish games company Next Games has successfully completed its first external investment round raising $6 million in financing from an elite list of institutional, strategic and private investors. The studio has begun by crafting two visually impressive, engaging games, one of which is the recently announced collaboration with AMC Networks Inc. on a mobile game based on the incredibly successful TV drama, The Walking Dead.

Founded by design veterans from Rovio, Supercell and Disney, Next Games has assembled a team with a profound love for games and a burning desire to develop lasting global entertainment. It is not only a passion for games that is driving Next Games – a thoughtful worldview permeates the studio as well.

Next Games’ Series A funding round was co-led by IDG Ventures and the company’s original investor, Jari Ovaskainen, who was also an early investor in Supercell. Joining them is Lowercase Capital, making one of its first ventures into the mobile game sector.

Additional funding has also been provided by Asia based IDG Capital, AMC Networks Ventures LLC, and freshly minted VC firm York Ventures LLC, a recently established early-stage venture vehicle backed the by the Gores brothers, Alec, Tom and Sam; well-known figures in the private equity and entertainment worlds and managed by digital media entrepreneur Peter Levin.

More than a dozen individual financiers, including former Microsoft CMO Mich Mathews, Initial Capital’s Ken Lamb and eOne’s President & CEO Darren Throop, backed the startup’s business plan, as well as executives from a handful of venture capital and entertainment media companies.

“Our funding was made possible by the pioneering work by established Scandinavian game development studios. It is a testament to the talent in the Nordic region where many of the most successful games in recent years have been created,” Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO of Next Games noted. “The majority of our private investment is rooted in the United States and Asia, the world’s leading mobile app markets. I’m confident this diversity will lead to compelling games with broad global appeal and unique opportunities for partnerships, such as the one we currently have with AMC.”

“We are prepared to define the next wave of playful innovation. Our plan is to build titles that people will enjoy for years and a dream team of people passionate with the art of making games,” said Joakim Achrén, Founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Product Officer, Next Games.

“I’m thrilled to see a Finnish game studio with such talent and vision hit the runway with this dynamic range of global investors,” stated Jari Ovaskainen, Next Games investor and seed investor of Supercell.

Further enquiries:

Saara Bergström
[email protected]
+358504833896

 

www.nextgames.com
www.facebook.com/nxtgms
www.twitter.com/nxtgms

About

Next Games

Next Games, founded in 2013 by design veterans from Rovio, Supercell and Disney, focuses on crafting visually impressive, engaging games. Next Games has assembled a team with a profound love for games and a burning desire to develop lasting global entertainment. The company is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, at the heart of mobile games development, and funded by an elite list of private investors. www.nextgames.com.

IDG Ventures

IDG Ventures invests in Consumer Internet and Enterprise IT companies. The firm is part of a global network of technology venture funds with approximately $3.7 billion under management and over 200 active portfolio companies in Asia and North America. IDG Ventures works closely with International Data Group (IDG), the world’s largest IT media company. By combining the IDG platform—an unparalleled combination of global publishing, market research, and conference and exhibition resources—with years of hands-on experience in early-stage company building, IDG Ventures helps its portfolio companies understand their markets better and penetrate them faster than their competition. Leading technology companies that IDG has backed include BabyCenter, Epiphany, Excite, F5 Networks, Funzio, Infoseek, Minted, Netscape, and Spinner.com.  www.idgvusa.com

Lowercase Capital

Lowercase Capital invests in startups, acquires later stage companies, and advises businesses and funds of all sizes on strategy and execution.
www.lowercasecapital.com

IDG Capital

IDG Capital is a member of the IDG investment fund group and managed by IDG Capital Partners team, which is a premier VC & PE investor in China. IDG Capital Partners is primarily focusing on investing related projects in consumer products, franchise services, internet and wireless application, new media, education, healthcare, new energy, and advanced manufacturing sectors. As one of the pioneers of foreign investors to enter the Chinese market, IDG Capital Partners has invested in 200 diverse outstanding companies and has successfully exited from over 60 investments through M&A or IPO in US, Hong Kong and A-share market in China. www.idgvc.com/en/

York Ventures

York Ventures is focused on A round investments with a focus on media-centric opportunities. York’s General Partnership is comprised of the Gores Brothers and related entities and Peter Levin.

Jari Ovaskainen, private investor

Jari Ovaskainen was the founder and CEO of Iobox, 1999-2000, which was sold to Telefonica for €230 million in year 2000. Jari was also Seed Investor in Supercell, which Softbank acquired by 51% in 2013 November, at value of USD 1.53 billion. Jari was awarded Business Angel of the Year, 2013, in Finland

New York, NY and Helsinki, Finland – Next Games and AMC Networks today announced that the Finnish games company is in production of a mobile game based on AMC’s incredibly successful TV series The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead is, for the second season in a row, the #1 show on U.S. television among adults 18-49, and extremely popular around the world. The mobile game will be the first time players see this iconic show come to life through gameplay exclusively developed for smartphones and tablet devices.

AMC and Next Games will join forces on the marketing of the title as the game launch coincides with season 5 of The Walking Dead TV series. The project will be global in scale with distribution and marketing across continents in collaboration with the best local partners.

“We chose to team up with Next Games because of their outstanding creative and technical talent, as well as a willingness to re-imagine the unique and compelling world of The Walking Dead, which has built a significant and passionate global fan community,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president. “We’re thrilled to be part of this next wave of games innovation and participating in a project that – like the show itself – is in service of the fans.”

“Our take on the undead survival franchise will match the against-all-odds action and moment-to-moment tension of the TV series. We want to find that sweet spot where gameplay and narrative inform and reinforce one another,” said Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO at Next Games. “Like AMC’s The Walking Dead itself, we’re not giving away too many details right out the gate, but I can confidently state it’s unlike anything we’ve seen from The Walking Dead franchise on home or mobile gaming hardware before.”

Founded by design veterans from Rovio, Supercell and Disney, Next Games has assembled a team with a profound love for games and a burning desire to develop lasting global entertainment. The studio is focused on crafting majestic narrative-driven games with engaging free-to-play mechanics.

The companies will announce additional details related to The Walking Dead game in the coming months.

Further enquiries:

Saara Bergström, Next Games [email protected] +358-50-483-3896
Jim Maiella, AMC [email protected] +1 646-273-7911

 

www.nextgames.com
www.facebook.com/nxtgms
www.twitter.com/nxtgms

amc_next_twd

 

About AMC

Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade or creating acclaimed original programming, AMC brings to its audience something deeper, something richer, Something More. The network reigns as the only cable network in history ever to win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row, and five out of the last six, and boasts the most-watched drama series in basic cable history and the current #1 show on television among adults 18-49 with The Walking Dead. AMC’s original drama series include Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Hell on Wheels. The network will premiere three new drama series in 2014: TURN, Halt and Catch Fire and the Breaking Bad prequel, Better Call Saul. AMC also explores authentic worlds with bold characters through its slate of unscripted original series including Talking Dead, Comic Book Men, Small Town Security, Freakshow and Game of Arms. AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, Sundance Channel, and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Something More.

 

About Next Games

 

Next Games, founded in 2013 by design veterans from Rovio, Supercell and Disney, focuses on crafting gorgeous narrative-driven games with engaging free-to-play mechanics. Next Games has assembled a team with a profound love for games and a burning desire to develop lasting global entertainment. The company is headquartered in Finland, at the heart of mobile games