In recent years, French developer and publisher Dotemu has really made a name for itself. It has published several games that hail from beloved retro IPs, such as Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap. Most recently, Dotemu published the critically acclaimed Streets of Rage 4, a loving tribute to the classic ’90s beat-em-up franchise that revamped combat mechanics in some seriously fun ways. Another French publisher by the name of Focus Home Interactive clearly saw potential in this studio, as it just announced that it now owns 77.5% of Dotemu’s share capital. Focus Home Interactive spent 38.5 million euros to achieve this acquisition.
According to Focus Home Interactive CEO Christophe Nobileau, the acquisition “marks a key step in the acceleration of [Focus Home Interactive] Group’s growth and in the diversification of its expertise.” Nobileau recognized the talents of Dotemu, stating that it “succeeded in making games attractive and giving them new life for millions of players around the world.” He wishes to establish “a long-term partnership” with Dotemu CEO Cyrille Imbert, who will still serve the same role but will also “become a member of the Group’s Executive Committee and future shareholder of Focus Home Interactive.”
How does Imbert feel?
Imbert himself seemed content with the partnership, saying that “we share the same passion for video games, the same desire to improve, as well as the same values of respect and benevolence towards our partners and teams.” He went on to reassure that Dotemu will retain its “editorial and strategic independence,” while noting that the company can now “give even greater ambition to its projects and give itself the means to broaden the range of services offered to studios.”
Whenever a major acquisition like this occurs, it is natural to feel concerned about whether the acquired company will get to pursue its ambitions with the same degree of freedom as before. But judging by these statements alone, it seems that the new partnership between Focus Home Interactive and Dotemu will only benefit both parties. Hopefully, this initial reading of the situation will prove to be accurate years from now, as Dotemu’s contributions to retro gaming have been too valuable to compromise.