Warner Bros. has agreed on a deal to acquire embattled gaming-centric multi-channel network Machinima, the company announced in a Thursday statement.
The Information first reported the acquisition talks last month, saying that the purchase price would be less than $100 million. Warner Bros. did not disclose financial terms of the deal.
Machinima, which began as a network of video-game focused YouTube channels, has raised $92 million since its founding — some from Warner Bros. — and was once valued at more than $250 million. But as video advertising growth slowed, Machinima laid off several employees and made changes at the top.
Machinima co-founder Allan DeBevoise left his post at CEO in March 2014 and was replaced by Chad Gutstein. The following year, Machinima laid off 13 of its 90 employees one day after getting $24 million in financing from Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. has also partnered with Machinima on content, working on original series such as “Mortal Kombat: Legacy,” based on the 1990s video game and exclusively shown on the Machinima YouTube channel. They also produced two seasons of a “Justice League” series, based on Warner’s DC Entertainment characters.
“Machinima is a strong gamer and fandom content and social brand with enormous reach and high engagement with audiences that play our games and are big fans of DC films and television shows,” Craig Hunegs, President, Business and Strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group and President, Warner Bros. Digital Networks said in the statement. “Machinima also produces great, high quality content for their community, and together we can create an even more compelling experience and do some really exciting things involving our key franchises. This acquisition is another meaningful move forward as Warner Bros. develops more direct relationships with our consumers.”
“Since making their first investment in Machinima in 2014, Warner Bros. has been an active business partner in our transformation, so we already have proof points as to how the companies can work together to accelerate Machinima’s growth plans,” Gutstein said in the statement. “We’ll now be able to take full advantage of Warner Bros.’ intellectual property, sales and distribution, while still creating content for social and premium digital platforms that gamers and geeks love. Plus, we’ll be fully embedded and can help Warner Bros. continue their incredible digital marketing successes. It’s honestly a win-win.”
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