Ndreams acquires VR development partner Near Light

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Ndreams, a developer and publisher of virtual reality games, today announced the acquisition of longtime collaborator Near Light.

The companies have a working relationship that stretches back more than five years, and they eventually decided to combine to shape the future of VR and augmented reality gaming.

Near Light developed the to dream (the company spells it nDreams) – published Perfect and Shooty Fruity VR titles, in addition to recently pioneering an AR experience for one of the world’s largest toy brands. The studio is currently developing an unannounced VR title to be published by Ndreams.

Paul Mottram and Ben Hebb founded Near Light in 2016, having previously worked together in key roles at Wide Games, Kuju Brighton and Zoë Mode. The pair previously worked on a number of innovative titles that advocate new ways to play, including games in the EyeToy Play, SingStar and Guitar Hero series.


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“We are extremely excited to deepen Ndreams’ relationship with Near Light after many years of fruitful collaborations,” Ndreams chief development officer Tom Gillo said in a statement. “Acquiring the studio will allow us to collaborate even more closely on medium-defining games, not to mention that Ben and Paul’s 20+ years of industry experience can be brought into the Ndreams family to leverage our own expertise. to reinforce.”

Brighton, UK-based Near Light joins Ndreams’ three existing development studios in Farnborough – Ndreams Studio (based in Farnborough), Ndreams Studio Elevation and Ndreams Studio Orbital (both fully remote) – expanding the family into the vibrant game development center of Brighton.

nDreams made the VR game Phantom Covert Ops.
Ndreams made the VR game Phantom Covert Ops.

“Our debut acquisition is yet another incredibly exciting milestone for nDreams,” added Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO of Ndreams, in a statement. “For other development studios that we’re similarly aligned with on vision and strategy, there’s certainly potential for more acquisitions in our future.”

Following the $35 million investment in Ndreams by the Aonic Group, the publisher is accelerating its investments in both internal development and third-party publishing. This deal, Ndreams’ first acquisition, is a sign of the company’s rapid and ambitious expansion.

“We are very proud to join Ndreams and shape the future of VR and AR games together, a new frontier with the ability to do things no one has done before,” said co-founder of Near Light, Paul Mottram, in a statement. “Near Light aligns well with Patrick and nDreams’ philosophy of how we want to make games and build teams. It feels like the ideal match for us.”

Working with Ndreams after this deal will feel familiar to the Near Light team, but closer ties between the two developers will also open up new opportunities.

“Going all the way back to Perfect and Shooty Fruity, our collaborations with nDreams have been very enjoyable,” Near Light co-founder Ben Hebb added in a statement. “The feeling of working with a group of people on great projects is something special, unique and an absolute privilege. We are excited to partner with nDreams to create titles that leave a powerful legacy.”

Ndreams has published Phantom: Covert Ops, Far Cry: Dive Into Insanity and Fracked, as well as innovative VR games developed by the brightest indie talents, including the hit Little Cities. The company started in 2013. Near Light started in 2016.

Paul Mottram and Ben Hebb, co-founders of Near Light, began their working relationship at Kuju in 1996 before founding Wide Games in Brighton in 2000 – the team behind which would go on to work under Kuju as Zoë Mode.

Near Light leverages the leadership team’s experience of partnerships with the likes of Sony, Disney, Activision, Microsoft and Sega across a variety of game genres.

The name “Near Light” was inspired by a piece of music by Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds. The Near Light team currently consists of eight people, but has expanded to about 20 at the peak of projects. The takeover by NDreams gives it room to grow further.

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