The studio behind the Just Cause series and the upcoming RAGE 2 has been acquired by Nordisk. The Nordic company has a 111-year history in film and have branched out into other forms of entertainment in recent years. Once the acquisition is finalized in June, Nordisk will have obtained full ownership of Avalanche and its three different studios worldwide.
Avalanche Studios is best known for their work with Square Enix and on the Just Cause series of open-world action games. They've worked with a number of notable publishers in the past decade including Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on a Mad Max video game, and most recently announced that they're collaborating with Bethesda on RAGE 2. That might not be the only game the developer is working on, though, as recent retailer listings have pointed towards Just Cause 4 being revealed next month at E3 2018.
Avalanche Studios CEO Pim Holfve told GamesIndustry that the deal allows the developer to maintain their independence creatively while also giving them a stable owner that alleviates any financial worries. "This was simply the right offer, at the right time, from the right company," said Holfve. He went on to explain that Nordisk Film had been a minority owner in the company for a year, and that it was only natural to let the relationship progress.
While many acquisitions wind up causing structural changes and layoffs within a studio, that won't be the case with Avalanche Studios being acquired by Nordisk. They just opened up a new studio in Sweden last week in order to work on smaller independent projects, and Holve says that no jobs will be lost. In fact, the only change is that Nordisk's Mikkel Weider will join the game developer's board.
This seems like a huge win for all parties involved. Both companies are already familiar with dealing with each other thanks to Nordisk's minority ownership, and Avalanche has free independency creativity to continue doing what they do best: making great video games. Considering financial insecurity is the greatest fear for any independent developer, this purchase gives Avalanche Studios all of the money they need in order to continue growing as a company and the ability to pursue more self-published games in addition to working with larger publishers like Square Enix and Bethesda.