Game Maker developer YoYo Games acquired by browser developer Opera

Game Maker is an entry-level game development tool that has been used to create several independent megahits, including Undertale, Hyperlight Drifter, Heat Signature, and Katana Zero. Since 2015, its developers YoYo Games belong to the creator of game software Playtech. There has been no official announcement that this has changed, but a report on Reuters states that Playtech sold YoYo Games for “about $ 10 million”.

The report does not mention who they sold Yoyo Games to, but some investigators on the Game Maker forums noticed that Opera employees, developers of fairly popular navigation software, have been appointed directors of YoYo Games. Business House has documents that confirm that.

This kind of acquisition is a nervous thing for game developers. Game Maker and its various iterations are a popular and vital tool for making games, especially 2D games, and relatively inexpensive compared to some of its peers. A new owner could mean changes that will impact many game developers, many of whom could be years on a project with years of work still to be done. Damn, I am several years in a Game Maker project, although it has been several years since I worked on it.

There were similar fears when Playtech bought YoYo Games in 2015, but the games company didn’t change the core software. In recent years, YoYo has attempted to diversify its business, including announcing a game publishing division in 2018 that closed the following year. The last major version of Game Maker software, Game Maker: Studio 2, was released in 2017.

I’ve reached out to YoYo Games and Opera for comment and will update this story if they respond.

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