French game studio acquires developer of WW1 Game Series

16 September 2022 2 min. read

French game studio Focus Entertainment has acquired a majority stake in Dutch player BlackMill Games, best known among gamers for its WW1 Game Series.

BlackMill Games is the developer of the WW1 Game Series, a first-person shooter game with three editions released so far. The first launched in 2015 (Verdun), the second in 2017 (Tannenberg) – the two games have sold more than one million copies between them. Isonzo, the latest entry, arrived at the start of this week.

The Dutch game studio (15 staff) was previously owned for 66% by fellow Dutch developer M2H Games (best known game: Crash Drive), with Focus Entertainment now acquiring that take. Jos Hoebe, the founder of BlackMill Games, has a share of 33% in the company.

French game studio acquires developer of WW1 Game Series

According to Hoebe, the WW1 Game Series will be able to grow further under the wings of Focus Entertainment. “They are a larger and more experienced partner. They will help us achieve the full potential of our WW1 Game Series.”

Focus Entertainment is a fast growing gaming group from Paris best known for games such as Sherlock Holmes, TrackMania, Runaway and sports games like Cycling Manager and Virtual Skipper. The French also own several first-person shooters. “We will undoubtedly benefit form their experience in the first-person shooters genre,” said Hoebe.

BlackMill Games is Focus Entertainment’s sixth purchase since June 2020. The firm previously also acquired Deck 13 (top title: Lords of the Fallen), Streum On Studio (top title: Warhammer), Dotemu (top title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge), Douze Dixièmes (top title: Shady Part of Me), and Leiker Studio (top title: Metal Slug Tactics).

M&A consultants from PwC and (financial advisory) and Stibbe provided buy-side support to the French. The Dutch sellers were advised by BBN Corporate Finance (financial advisory) and Nysingh.

The WW1 Game Series are available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox. Each game replicates a number of historical battles fought during the first World War, with all battles according to the developers based on real historical events.