Eve Online Owners Said to Weigh Game Maker Sale After Approaches

  • Icelandic firm said to receive interest from potential buyers
  • No final decision made and owners still discussing options

Hello World: Iceland - Journey Into the World of Eve

CCP hf, the Icelandic game developer that created the cult classic Eve Online game, is exploring strategic options including a sale of the business after receiving interest from potential bidders, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The closely held company’s owners, which include European investor Novator Partners LLP, U.S. investment fund General Catalyst Partners LLC and venture capitalist New Enterprise Associates Inc., are discussing whether or not to proceed with a sale, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. A sale of CCP could value the business at as much as 900 million euros ($955 million), the people said.

Representatives for CCP, General Catalyst and Novator declined to comment, while New Enterprise didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The gaming industry has seen a wave of mergers and acquisitions this year, with buyers committing about $20 billion on companies that make entertainment software, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The largest was the $8.6 billion acquisition deal for Finnish gamemaker Supercell Oy, targeted by a group lead by Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Founded in 1997, CCP is focused on building multiplayer games for virtual reality headsets. Valkyrie, one of the latest in the Eve series, is an intergalactic space shooter that can be played on Microsoft Corp.’s Oculus Rift on PC, Sony Corp.’s PlayStation VR headset and HTC Corp.’s Vive. Gunjack 2 is available exclusively for Google’s Daydream, while its predecessor Gunjack can be played on Samsung Electronics Co.’s Gear VR, Facebook Inc.’s Oculus Rift and Vive, according to the company’s website.

CCP raised $30 million from New Enterprise and Novator in Nov. 2015. That round valued the company at $300 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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