Golf With Your Friends, a popular multi-player online golf game, has been bought by Yorkshire-based independent games developer Team17 for £12 million.
Since partnering with Blacklight, the makers of Golf With Your Friends in 2019, Team17 has helped to more than double the number of users to 5.5 million. It attributes the rise to increased production values, new platforms and IP cross-overs, and more people turning to gaming while stuck at home during the various national lockdowns.
Team17 said the acquisition would further expand its portfolio and franchise footprint, enabling the group to increase first party IP and ultimately create additional opportunities to extend the lifecycle of the game.
Available to play on numerous consoles, PCs, tablets and gaming platforms, Golf With Your Friends is played over a choice of nine virtual mini golf courses with up to 12 players taking on each other in a choice of game formats. There are numerous skills challenges, and opportunities to slow up rival players from holing out.
The growth of GWYF, and its portfolio of over 100 other games, saw Team17’s revenues increase by around £20m on the previous year to more than £80m, while its operating profits increased by more than 30 per cent. The company’s share price more than doubled over the year, sending its market value above £1bn.
Debbie Bestwick, chief executive Team17 Group, said: “2020 is definitely a year we will not forget in a hurry and also provides insights into the challenges we can expect as a workforce in 2021. We are therefore delighted to start 2021 with the announcement that we have acquired GWYF and see great potential in this IP. Over the last two years, GWYF has shown strong consumer demand and mass market appeal, doubling its owner base and achieving success on multiple gaming platforms.
“GWYF is the type of IP we believe is right for ownership, it is successful and proven but still at the start of its journey. The team at Blacklight Interactive can be assured that we will take great care of this amazing IP.”