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Virtual reality game developer and publisher Ndreams today announced the acquisition of longtime collaborator Near Light.
The companies have a working relationship that dates back more than five years and they have finally decided to team up to help shape the future of virtual reality and augmented reality gaming.
Near Light developed the Perfect and Shooty Fruity VR titles published by Ndreams (the company spells it nDreams), in addition to recently launching an AR experience for one of the world’s biggest toy brands. The studio is currently developing an unannounced VR title to be published by Ndreams.
Paul Mottram and Ben Hebb co-founded Near Light in 2016, having worked together in key roles at Wide Games, Kuju Brighton and Zoë Mode. The duo previously worked on a number of innovative titles that championed new ways to play, including games in the EyeToy Play, SingStar and Guitar Hero series.
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“We are extremely pleased to deepen Ndreams’ relationship with Near Light after many years of successful partnerships,” Tom Gillo, Ndreams’ Chief Development Officer, said in a statement. “Acquiring the studio will allow us to collaborate even more closely on support definition games, not to mention bringing Ben and Paul’s 20+ years of industry experience into the Ndreams family to bolster our own expertise.”
Near Light, based in Brighton, UK, joins Ndreams’ three existing development studios based in Farnborough – Ndreams Studio (based in Farnborough), Ndreams Studio Elevation and Ndreams Studio Orbital (both fully remote) – and extends the family in Brighton’s vibrant play development centre.
“Making our first acquisition is another incredibly exciting step for nDreams,” added Ndreams CEO Patrick O’Luanaigh in a statement. “For other development studios with whom we are also aligned on vision and strategy, there is certainly potential for further acquisitions in our future.”
Following the $35 million investment in Ndreams by the Aonic group, the publisher is accelerating its investments in both internal development and third-party publishing. This transaction, Ndreams’ first acquisition, is a sign of the company’s rapid and ambitious expansion.
“We’re really proud to join Ndreams and together shape the future of VR and AR gaming, a new frontier with the ability to do things no one has done before,” said the Near Light co-founder, Paul Mottram, in a press release. “Near Light is very much in line with Patrick and nDreams philosophy in terms of game design and team building. It seems like the perfect fit for us.
Working alongside Ndreams following this deal will feel familiar to the Near Light team, but closer ties between the two developers will also provide new opportunities.
“During back to Perfect and Shooty Fruity, our collaborations with nDreams have been really enjoyable,” Ben Hebb, co-founder of Near Light, added in a statement. “The feeling of working on big projects with a group of people you get along with is something special, unique and an absolute privilege. We are excited to work with nDreams to create titles that leave a powerful legacy.
Ndreams has published Phantom: Covert Ops, Far Cry: Dive Into Insanity and Fracked, as well as innovative VR games developed by the brightest indie talent, including hit Little Cities. The company started in 2013. Near Light started in 2016.
Paul Mottram and Ben Hebb, co-founders of Near Light, began their working relationship at Kuju in 1996 before setting up Wide Games in Brighton in 2000 – the team behind whom would again work under Kuju as Zoë Mode.
Near Light draws on the experience of its management team in partnering with Sony, Disney, Activision, Microsoft and Sega across a variety of game genres.
The name “Near Light” is inspired by a piece of music by Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds. The Near Light team currently consists of eight people, but has already grown to about twenty at the height of the projects. Its acquisition by NDreams gives it the opportunity to develop further.
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