FoxNext Acquires Mobile Gaming Firm; 'Avatar' Game on the Way

Avatar 2009 - Photofest - EMBED

Avatar (2009)

FoxNext — the immersive entertainment unit formed in January by 21st Century Fox that’s working with Twentieth Century Fox Film and Fox Network Group — has acquired mobile game developer Aftershock.

Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.

Prior to the acquisition, Aftershock was already working with Fox and James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment on a multiplayer mobile strategy game based on Avatar.

Earlier this year, Aftershock was spun out from game developer Kabam, for which the unit created mobile games including Marvel Contest of Champions and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth.

The Aftershock business will maintain its bases in Los Angeles and San Francisco, operating as part of the FoxNext Games division, Aftershock's Aaron Loeb joins FoxNext as president of studios for FoxNext Games, reporting to FoxNext president Salil Mehta. In all, roughly 80 employees join FoxNext.

About the Avatar game, Mehta said: “We are evaluating rollout but believe it will come out before the sequels. It’s an incredible way for many global fans to experience the world of Pandora."

He added: "We see this interactive storytelling as a way to potentially launch new franchises, as well as expand existing Fox properties. We have a lot of IP we are looking to bring to Aftershock. Technology is moving incredibly rapidly, and we are trying to stay on top of it and be able to exploit it and bring opportunities to creative storytellers.”

FoxNext divisions also include FoxNext VR, whose projects include an upcoming Planet of the Apes-themed experience tied to the release of Fox's War for the Planet of the Apes, and FoxNext Destinations, which, as first reported in The Hollywood Reporter, is developing a multiplayer VR game based on the Alien franchise.