Announced today, Warner Bros. signed an agreement to acquire full control of Machinima, the digital programming company that focuses on pop culture fandom and gamer culture.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to Variety’s sources familiar with the deal, WB bought Machinima for a sum valued just under $100 million. The digital company will operate as a wholly-owned part of Warner Bros. Digital Networks group.
Looks like Warner Bros. sees a future in producing video game adaptations.
Craig Hunegs, president of business and strategy for Warner Bros. Television Group and president of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, says in a statement:
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. 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.
Warner Bros. was already an investor of Machinima, which was founded in 2000. In 2014, WB made an $18 million investment in the company, and another $24 million around February 2015. Other Machinima investors include Google, MK Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Coffin Capital, and Machinima founder Allen DeBevoise.
WB did have the option to purchase Machinima outright, and deal talks between the two companies heated up last month.
Machinima creates original scripted and unscripted series and operates a network of around 100,000 creators, reaching nearly 150 million viewers per month across various platforms.
“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,” Machinima CEO Chad Gutstein said. “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.”
In addition, Warner Bros. Digital Networks works closely with Turner and HBO on current and future OTT services.