Nexon buys narrative game developer Pixelberry Studios

Nexon buys narrative game developer Pixelberry Studios
Sean Cleaver

By Sean Cleaver

November 10th 2017 at 8:07AM

The Japanese-based publisher hopes to increase its reach to female gamers with the acquisition

Online games publisher Nexon has announced that it has agreed to acquire the interactive narrative game developer Pixelberry Studios. The developer, which first opened 12 years ago, has mostly been developing narrative games for the mobile market, including High School Story and Choices: Stories You Play.

The games often have an educational focus and US-based Pixelberry has created apps and games with non-profit organisations like The Cybersmile Foundation and the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) to raise awareness for problems such as cyberbullying and eating disorders.

Many of their games have had continuous weekly updates, keeping players involved much longer than a mobile game life cycle normally allows.

The acquisition will help Pixelberry to grow to a global audience and localise its games to the Asain market, with Choices being the first to be localised. However, Nexon is also hoping that the acquisition will expand its reach within the games market to reach more female gamer

“Pixelberry is at the intersection of storytelling and games, bringing interactive fiction to a whole new audience that would never have considered themselves gamers before,” said Pixelberry CEO, Oliver Miao. “Nexon is the perfect choice for our unified vision for creating and leading a new category of mobile fiction for readers around the world.”

Miao also posted a blog post on the Pixelberry website, saying, "We love that Nexon is serious about a long lasting approach to their games, and that they want to help us grow Choices into a long term app.

"At the same time, Nexon realizes that no team has as much experience writing mobile story games as we do, so they will let us run independently and still be Pixelberry. We’ll be the same wacky, nerdy, and occasionally hip team, with the same writers, artists, engineers, QA, marketing, data, and player specialists, all making sure we continue to tell the stories of intriguing charactersThe biggest change from teaming up will be that we’ll have more resources to expand faster. And over time, we hope to leverage Nexon’s global experience to spread our games to more people around the world."

“The games industry and mobile app stores are flooded with the same types of games,” added Nexon president and CEO, Owen Mahoney. “Pixelberry Studios has created compelling interactive storytelling apps that serve the massive, yet hard-to-reach and underserved, audience of women. We are looking forward to building the future of mobile fiction together with Pixelberry’s diverse and talented team to create engaging experiences that can be enjoyed for years, even decades.”