Just Cause & Rage 2 devs Avalanche bought out by the world’s oldest movie company

There we were, being all surprised that Just Cause/Mad Max outfit Avalanche Studios had been handed the reins to Id sequel Rage 2, and now here we are, being all surprised that Avalanche are now owned by a 111-year-old Danish movie studio. Nordisk Film, the world’s oldest still-active film production firm, have doled out some $103 million to take control of Avalanche’s three offices, but the claim is that the Swedish games studio will retain creative independence. In fact, the plan is to work on more self-published titles, though they don’t plan on giving up work for hire just yet.

“”This was simply the right offer, at the right time, from the right company,” Avalanche boss Pim Holfve told GamesIndustry.biz this morning. “Nordisk Film are also fully committed to our road map, and feel that Avalanche Studios are headed in the right direction, so they don’t want to mess with that. Being able to maintain our creative independence, while at the same time being acquired by stable, long-term owners is the best possible scenario.” Plus, y’know, a whole lotta wonga in his pocket.

Nordisk Film, established in 1906, making it the fourth-ever film studio in the world, and the oldest still-operational one, does a whole lot more than movies these days, including TV, advertising, gift retailing and game distribution in the Nordic territories. So picking up a big games studio makes a lot of sense for them – in fact, they were already a $10m minority shareholder in Avalanche prior to this acquisition. Note they won’t get rights to Just Cause, Mad Max or Rage 2, as all of belong to Square Enix and Bethesda, but they will pick up Avalanche’s own theHunter deer/grammar-murder series.

The ol’games-as-service chestnut shows itself here, with Holfve reckoning that theHunter’s long tail of DLC, events and community-wrangling will be “a great blueprint for how we think about our self-published games.”

Of course, what we all hope is that this doesn’t stand in the way of a Just Cause 4 or Mad Max 2. GI.biz note the buy-out won’t affect development of Rage 2, and that nu-Avalanche will still be “open for both new publisher partnerships large and small.” It would, after all, be heresy for Square Enix to give that grappling hook to anyone else.

13 Comments

  1. Phantom_Renegade says:

    103 million? Damn… that’s a fucking steal. Even if JC3 was ultimately a distinct step in the wrong direction, Mad Max was an amazing piece of entertainment.

    EDIT: Oh shit, I just saw that they wouldn’t actually be getting either of those. In that case they overpaid by at least 80 million. Possibly more. Sure they’re getting the talent, but they could have gotten those anyway by just hiring them.

  2. pseudoart says:

    Denmark could use more studios aside from the plethora of mobile studios that’s ever present in most countries these days, maybe that’s in NF’s roadmap? No AAA unless you count IO who might be considered indie now?

    • AndreasBM says:

      More PC game studios in Denmark would be terrific, but there’s no reason to discount IOI. They’re old, reasonably big, and have sole responsibility for putting Denmark on the map with regards to PC games.

      The Hitman series is basically old enough to buy its own alcohol, and has included many major titles. Plus Kane & Lynch. Sure, they’ve been published by Eidos and Squenix, but just because they’re self-published these days, they’re still much closer to being a major AAA studio than an indie company.

  3. Kollega says:

    When I saw the headline, I expected that Avalanche got snapped up by some stupid megacorporation, which really wouldn’t be any kind of good or unusual news. But a mid-tier European company that is not a part of some trillion-dollar international conglomerate? This is genuinely interesting! Something actually good might come of this, eventually…

  4. Alberto says:

    I’ve played JC2, JC3 and Mad Max, all from Avalanche Studios, but I didn’t get to see a single avalanche.
    ¿Explosions? The most prettierest ever. But ¿Avalanches? Not a single one. Don’t fall into their scam with their misguiding name, for a studio devoted to avalanches, they’re really falling behind.

  5. Janichsan says:

    Note they won’t get rights to Just Cause, Mad Max or Rage 2, as all of belong to Square Enix and Bethesda…

    Mad Max belongs to Warner.

    • Lodin says:

      Considering WB screwed George Miller out of the bonus for Fury Road the chances for a new movie are slim. That makes me think the possibility for a Mad Max 2 are even less likely. Especially since the team that made the first one are now involved with Rage 2.
      Sad really.

  6. bee says:

    If those game series go away or are given to another studio then I will be a very sad panda. Just Cause, Mad Max, and Rage are some of my all time favorite games.

  7. Siimon says:

    Is nobody gonna mention Renegade Ops? Loved that little co-op gem!

    • fuggles says:

      Renegade ops was brilliant, but they couldn’t have dropped support of it quick enough. Shameful how many people couldn’t run it.

  8. racccoon says:

    Its pretty obvious this company loves crashing and burning. :)

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