Sea’s Garena acquires Dauntless game maker Phoenix Labs

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Singapore-centered Sea said that its Garena activity division has acquired Phoenix Labs, maker of the Dauntless free-to-play online video activity.

Dauntless released previous year, and it now has more than 20 million gamers unfold throughout the Personal computer, console, and cellular platforms. In December, the recreation experienced 16 million downloads.

The transfer is a huge 1 for Garena, which would make the smash strike free-to-play activity Cost-free Fireplace. Garena is acquiring all of Vancouver, Canada-dependent Phoenix Labs, which has 109 staff in Vancouver San Mateo, California and Seattle. The firms did not disclose the acquire value, but it is clearly a main deal akin to previous week’s trio of acquisitions.

Dauntless is already at 16 million downloads.

Previously mentioned: Dauntless is now at 20 million downloads.

Picture Credit: Phoenix Labs

“The unbiased existence will come with its possess established of attention-grabbing troubles,” mentioned Jesse Houston, CEO and cofounder of Phoenix Labs, in an job interview with GamesBeat. “We have been grinding fairly challenging for the very last six many years and we’re at some form of we’re at a fork in the road. What do we want to be when we mature up? The start was seriously wonderful. We’re commencing to type of glance much more broadly past Western marketplaces and doing the job on what we want to do in cell and in Southeast Asia and China.”


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Equally events will make on Phoenix Labs’ development abilities and check out new advancement opportunities in world wide marketplaces and on cell equipment. Garena was one particular of the initial buyers in Phoenix Labs.

Dauntless has been a significant hit as a co-op motion purpose-enjoying activity the place teams of a few human gamers square off versus significant monsters. And it is also an illustration of a cross-platform hit, in which players on the Computer system, consoles, and now cellular can engage in with each and every other in a single globe.

Forrest Li, founder and team CEO of Sea, claimed in a assertion that the organization has viewed Phoenix Labs mature into one of the greatest sport improvement teams and launch a “hugely exciting” title.

“We also know that they share our mission of making fantastic video games, making the most effective teams, and putting gamers initially,” he said.

Over: Phoenix Labs CEO Jesse Houston and Sea group CEO Forrest Li.

Image Credit: Phoenix Labs

Phoenix Labs was launched in Vancouver in 2014 by veteran game executives with a track report of doing the job on some of the world’s most effective-acknowledged activity franchises. They introduced Dauntless formally in May well 2019 on the PS4, Xbox A person, and Epic Online games Store. It got 4 million players in a week.

Many thanks to Totally free Hearth, Garena had far more than 320 million quarterly lively buyers in the third quarter of 2019. Absolutely free Fire was the most downloaded cellular activity globally in 2019 according to Application Annie. Garena has a handful of thousand staff.

Subsequent the acquisition, the existing administration group at Phoenix Labs will go on to run the studio. In addition to bolstering Garena’s in-home material development abilities, the partnership permits Phoenix Labs to tap into Garena’s world-wide network and exceptional strengths in cellular games and neighborhood developing.


Above: Dauntless

Graphic Credit: Phoenix Labs

“They have encounter in user acquisition, mobile performance, as properly as an comprehending of rising marketplaces,” Houston mentioned. “There’s a large possibility for us to master from them.”

The organizations will function alongside one another to proceed incorporating new characteristics to Dauntless and check out new expansion prospects in markets these as Asia and Latin The united states.


Earlier mentioned: Dauntless’s Quillshot.

Image Credit score: Dauntless

Partnering with a person who is presently excellent at that produced perception, Houston mentioned.

“Garena has been an investor given that the initially times of our corporation,” Houston said. “It was straightforward for us to go from possessing an trader to remaining a section of the family members.”

Other organizations bid on Phoenix Labs, as is ordinarily the situation these days. Previous 7 days alone, we saw a few main acquisitions: Tencent’s bid for Funcom, Scopely’s acquisition of FoxNext Game titles, and Stillfront’s buy of Storm8.

“We have not been aggressively pursuing an acquisition by any means,” Houston stated. “We had a range of M&A alternatives on the desk. It is a great market.”

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