Santa Monica, CA – May 3, 2016 – Skydance, a diversified media company that creates elevated, event-level entertainment for global audiences, today announced that it has acquired leading game developer The Workshop Entertainment, Inc. and launched Skydance Interactive, LLC, a dedicated subsidiary that will create and own original video games and virtual reality experiences.
The acquisition provides Skydance Media with the capability to vertically integrate its intellectual property across the feature film, television and interactive platforms. The company will self-publish and digitally distribute Skydance Interactive titles for the leading VR hardware, including Oculus, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. While The Workshop will continue to offer its robust console game services, this transaction allows the company to evolve into a leading-edge virtual reality developer as Skydance Interactive.
“We believe that virtual reality is the perfect medium by which to create an interactive platform where immersive storytelling intersects with active gameplay, which has long been a goal of ours at Skydance Media,” said David Ellison, Chief Executive Officer of Skydance Media. “We are making a significant investment in virtual reality with the launch of Skydance Interactive, which allows us not only to develop and publish original games but also to extend the reach of our existing franchises. I am proud that we have found our ideal partners in The Workshop and am thrilled to welcome Peter, Chris, and the rest of the team into the Skydance family.”
“Skydance clearly shares our belief at The Workshop that virtual reality will profoundly affect the human experience,” added Peter Akemann, Chief Executive Officer of Skydance Interactive. “It is absolutely exhilarating to be on the front lines of the revolution developing cutting-edge gaming experiences and there is no one with whom we would rather be in business than the innovative team at Skydance.”
The Workshop was launched in 2008 by the co-founder and original members of Treyarch, which sold to Activision in 2001 and now leads the Call of Duty franchise. Peter Akemann co-founded Treyarch in 1995, where he oversaw the development of the company’s cross-platform graphics engine. He has shipped over 20 titles across first, second and next-generation platforms. Chris Busse, General Manager of The Workshop, helped Peter lead the expansion of the Treyarch team from 3 to over 200 employees. Their combined experience spans the breadth of acclaimed franchise games such as The Evil Within, Armored Warfare, Free Realms, Medal of Honor and Spiderman, among others.