Warner Bros. has inked a deal to acquire Machinima, the digital service focused on gamer and fandom culture, an agreement that comes more than two years after the studio first invested in the upstart.
Financial terms were not announced (Varietyreported that it's slightly less than $100 million). Machinima has raised about $91.5 million, per Crunchbase. In February 2015, Machinimascored a $24 million financing round led by Warner Bros. Entertainment with existing investors Redpoint Ventures, MK Capital, Coffin Capital, with participation from Machinima founder Allen DeBevoise
Machinima will become part of the Warner Bros. Digital Networks, a unit founded in June 2016 aimed at growing the studio’s digtal and OTT offerings. That unit also works closely with Time Warner’s Turner and HBO divisions.
Of recent note, Machinima hired media industry vets Gary King and Dave Pullano as directors of development and a revamp of Machinima’s programming lineup.
After an earlier focus a YouTube MCN, Machinima has expanded distribution through other partners such as Playstation Vue, Amazon Prime, Verizon’s go90, China’s Sohu and The CW Network.
Machinima, which reaches nearly 150 million viewers each month, is also being offered through VRV, the just-launched SVOD aggregation service from Ellation.
“Machinima is a strong gamer and fandom content and social brand with enormous reach and high engagement with audiences that play our games and are big fans of DC films and television shows,” Craig Hunegs, president, business and strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group and president, Warner Bros. Digital Networks, said in a statement.
The acquisition of Machinima, he added, “is another meaningful move forward as Warner Bros. develops more direct relationships with our consumers.”
“Since making their first investment in Machinima in 2014, Warner Bros. has been an active business partner in our transformation, so we already have proof points as to how the companies can work together to accelerate Machinima’s growth plans,” added Chad Gutstein, Machinima’s CEO. “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.”