Hachette UK Acquires Mobile Game Studio Neon Play

Hachette UKHachette UK announced today that it has acquired the British mobile game development studio Neon Play, which will operate as a standalone business under the Hachette umbrella. The move allows Hachette to publish authors on new platforms and the publisher to “pursue more generally our aim to generate rapid growth” on other platforms.

Neon Play has created more than 30 games with more than 60 million downloads.

Full press release below:

Hachette UK announces its acquisition of the British mobile games development studio Neon Play

Friday 17th June 2016

Tim  Hely  Hutchinson,  CEO  of  Hachette  UK  today  announces  Hachette  UK’s  acquisition of one of the UK’s leading mobile games development studios, Neon Play.

Co‐owners  Oli  Christie  and  Mark  Allen  founded  Neon  Play,  which  is  based  in  Cirencester, in 2010. To date it has created over 30 games, including Paper Glider,  Flick  Football  and  Panic  Traffic  London  and  in  total  its  games  have  attracted over 60 million downloads. The studio has won 20 business awards including  the  Queen’s  Award  for  Innovation  and  Oli  Christie  was  named  Entrepreneur of the Year at the UK Chamber of Commerce Awards in 2011.

Oli Christie, Mark Allen and their team will continue to be based in Cirencester running  Neon  Play  as  a  stand‐alone  business  under  the  Hachette  UK  umbrella,  creating, developing and marketing new mobile games. Tim Hely Hutchinson, Richard Kitson and Pierre de Cacqueray of Hachette join the board of Neon Play.

Tim Hely Hutchinson says: “For some time Hachette has been developing a plan to diversify into the games market. This is both to provide opportunities for our authors to be published in a new dimension, and also to pursue more generally our aim to generate rapid growth on a variety of digital platforms. We have been looking  for  a  bold,  creative,  well  managed  and  highly  successful  games  studio  and we have found it in Neon Play. I am delighted that Oli and Mark, who are brimming with exciting ideas, see Hachette as the right partner for their future.

“When we acquire companies we look for a good fit with Hachette: people who are  passionate  about  what  they  do,  whose  vision  for  the  future  is  aligned  with  ours and whose ideas and plans for growth are full of potential. This is absolutely true  of  Neon  Play  and  I  am  delighted  that  Hachette  is  taking  a  step  into  a  complementary new industry and finding adventurous new ways to publish, with this world-­class team.

“We at Hachette today see the future of publishing as continuing to be centrally about  sympathetically  taking  the  work  of  creative  people  to  market,  but  that  market will be more broadly defined in the future, with all the emphasis of digital  that  modern  consumers  expect.  While  we  love  producing  beautiful  printed books, this wider vision is at the heart of all our plans for a vibrant and successful future. “

Oli  Christie,  CEO  of  Neon  Play,  said:  “Mark  and  I  have  huge  ambitions  for  the  growth of Neon Play and I’m delighted that, in Hachette, we’ve found an owner who  is  as  enthusiastic  about  our  business  as  we  are.  In  fact,  we  think  it’s  the  perfect meeting of minds.

“We’re  very  much  looking  forward  to  creating  a  number  of  new  innovative,  mass-­‐market games and, on occasion, working with some of Hachette’s authors on their ideas for interactive content.”

Hachette UK is the second largest publishing group in the UK. The group consists of  over  50  different  imprints  comprising  seven  publishing  divisions:  Hodder  &  Stoughton (including John Murray and Quercus), the Headline Publishing Group, Little,  Brown,  Orion  Publishing  Group,  Octopus  Publishing  Group,  Hachette  Children’s Group and Hodder Education (including Rising Stars), publishing books in all formats for all ages and tastes.

In  2016  authors  published  by  the  group  include  Martina  Cole,  Cressida  Cowell,  Julian Fellowes, Sabrina Ghayour, Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. The Loney by Andrew  Michael  Hurley  was  named  Book  of  The  Year  at  the  British  Book  Industry Awards and The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney won the Baileys Prize for Fiction. Hodder Education was named Educational Publisher of the Year for the second year in succession.

Neon  Play  is  a  mobile  games  studio  founded  in  2010  by  Oli  Christie  and  Mark  Allen in Cirencester, UK. With a team of over 25 people, they have achieved over 60 million downloads from games such as Flick Football, Paper Glider and Traffic Panic London, with 10 global number one hits. Paper Glider became Apple’s 10 billionth app download back in 2011.

Neon  Play  has  won  numerous  awards  in  the  last  six  years,  including  being  the  first mobile games studio in the UK to win a prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2013.

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