Opera (NASDAQ: OPRA), the browser developer and consumer internet brand, today announced its acquisition of YoYo Games, creator of the world’s leading 2D game engine, GameMaker Studio 2, for approximately $10 million. The tuck-in acquisition represents the second building block in the foundation of Opera Gaming, a new division within Opera with global ambitions and follows the creation and rapid growth of Opera’s innovative Opera GX browser, the world’s first browser built specifically for gamers.
Krystian Kolondra, EVP Browsers at Opera, said: “With Opera GX, Opera had adapted its proven, innovative browser tech platform to dramatically expand its footprint in gaming. We’re at the brink of a shift, when more and more people start not only playing, but also creating and publishing games. GameMaker Studio2 is best-in-class game development software, and lowers the barrier to entry for anyone to start making their games and offer them across a wide range of web-supported platforms, from PCs, to, mobile iOS/Android devices, to consoles.”
Annette De Freitas, Head of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, Opera Gaming, added: “Gaming is a growth area for Opera and the acquisition of YoYo Games reflects significant, sustained momentum across both of our businesses over the past year. Our new Opera GX browser hit 7 million MAUs in December, 2020, up 350% year over year, while YoYo Games’ GameMaker engine achieved 400K new registered creators in 2020. We’re tremendously excited by the opportunities the combination creates not only for our combined users, but also for the expansion of Opera’s gaming community.”
Stuart Poole, GM at YoYo Games who will remain with the business alongside technical lead Russell Kay, stated, “For over twenty years, the vision behind the GameMaker engine was to not just create more games, but expand development within and beyond the game studio. We think the transaction with Opera – whose products are known, trusted and used worldwide by millions of people every month- represents a massive opportunity to accelerate fulfilment of that founding vision, during a period of exceptional growth for both companies.”
“We are very excited to start working with the team at YoYo Games,” said Krystian Kolondra, EVP Browsers at Opera. “We see the Game Maker Studio platform as being an ideal acquisition to complement our global ambitions in gaming, and to help drive awareness and traffic to our Opera GX gaming browser.”
Opera GX, YoYo Games and GameMaker will unite under Opera Gaming, focusing on innovating across the gaming, game development, and browser experience. “We look forward to further growing Opera GX and driving the growth of GameMaker as part of a broader ecosystem, making it more accessible to novice users and developing it into the world’s leading 2D game engine used by commercial studios,” continued Krystian Kolondra. “Opera Gaming will be focusing on accelerating the growth of this emerging ecosystem, combining the 7+ million highly engaged gamers using Opera GX with millions of GameMaker creators. We are also thrilled to continue realizing synergies between YoYo Games’ products and Opera GX.”
GameMakerStudio is an integrated game development software, performance-tuned 2/2.5D engine that fuels many games, including multi-million hits like Risk of Rain, Undertale, or Hyper Light Drifter on an extensive range of mainstream platforms. Starting to build games with Game Maker Studio requires little to zero coding skills. Due to its extensive functionalities and ease of use Game Maker Studio lowers the barriers to entry and empowers a variety of creative people to make their games come alive and share them with the world.
Kolondra explained further: “Performance is essential to even 2D gaming, and sustaining that performance across mobile devices and laptops as well as variable bandwidth and connectivity requires thinking outside of traditional application silos. The line between building good games and good browsers has been eroding for years – with gaming interactivity across internet connections ramping up and browsers growing more multi-function and sophisticated. Traditionally the two types of technology compete for hardware and bandwidth resources. But as Opera GX proved, there was a better way to address that competition and improve the experience across both functionalities. YoYo Games’ team, development expertise and studio relationships lay the groundwork for turning the Opera GX vertical into a new kind of horizontal. This horizontal opportunity is why we’re building Opera Gaming and its infrastructure – so that we can further integrate gaming and browsing in ways beneficial to both in terms of not only monetization, but also experience.”