A major entertainment company is about to acquire Machinima, Inc’s slice of the YouTube gaming community. On Nov. 17, 2016 Warner Bros. officially announced that the company acquired full control of Machinima.
According to a report by Variety, Machinima will join Warner Bros. Digital Networks, a group of Warner Bros. digital media ventures. Warner Bros previously invested in Machinima, placing $18 million USD into the company in 2014 and $24 million in 2015. While the actual agreement between Warner Bros. and Machinima is not currently available, it seems Warner Bros. bought the company for “slightly under $100 million,” Variety reports.
The move isn’t a drastic change for Machinima, either. According to Machinima CEO Chad Gutstein, Warner Bros. “has been an active business partner in our transformation” since WB’s first investment in 2014, so the company certainly has strong prior experience working with the entertainment giant. Gutstein is excited by the prospect, too. “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,” he said.
Warner Bros. sounds excited by the move as well. Warner Bros. Digital Networks President Craig Hunegs called Machinima “a strong gamer and fandom content and social brand” that shows “high engagement with audiences that play our games and are big fans of DC films and television shows.” Further involvement between DC and Machinima seems to be a given, with both parties encouraging the comic publisher’s role in the gaming company’s content as the transition continues. How that content will be added remains an open question, but regardless, it’s sure to be an interesting addition to an already-expansive deal.
Machinima has been a household name in gaming for years. Originally launched in 2000 by Hugh Hancock, Machinima has taken a strong hold of the let’s play and content production industry through sponsorships and hosting their own gaming network. The Warner Bros. acquisition taps into that market directly, suggesting that the entertainment giant will now have a solid foothold to work with in the YouTube gaming community.