FoxNext, the new gaming and VR division of 21st Century Fox, has made its first big play in the gaming space by acquiring mobile-game developer Aftershock. The company, which has offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, earlier this year spun off from Kabam, after South Korean gaming company NetMarble purchased Kabam’s Vancouver studio in a deal reportedly worth up to $800M. Led by Aaron Loeb, who joins as President of Studios for FoxNext Games and who will report to President Salil Mehta, Aftershock has a number of projects in development including a multiplayer mobile strategy game for James Cameron’s Avatar franchise in partnership with Lightstorm Entertainment. Speaking about the deal, Mehta said: “The studio has an exceptional pipeline of high-quality games in development and we look forward to bringing a new level of entertainment to players around the world.”
Alibaba has made its first major acquisition in the online ticketing space outside China. The Alibaba Pictures division of the e-commerce giant has purchased India’s TicketNew, the country’s second-biggest platform. Based in Chennai, it was founded in 2007 and has around 3,000 screens in its network across India. TicketNew founder Ramkumar Nammalvar told The Hindu Business Line that the company is aiming to reach a wider audience and expand to other cities. The recent success of smash Baahubali 2: The Conclusion saw more than 50% of TicketNew’s business come from second and third tier cities; the partnership will allow the company to expand. Alibaba intends to invest about 120 crore ($18M) over time.
Germany’s ZDF Enterprises has taken a minority stake in UK content production company World Media Rights, the producer behind projects such as Black Ops and Air Crash Confidential. The move marks ZDF’s first equity investment into a British outfit and will coincide with a board restructure at World Media Rights, which will see David McNab join the company as Creative Director. McNab’s factual credits include In The Shadow of the Moon for Channel 4, Secret Universe, The Hidden Life of the Cell and The Planets for BBC 2.