Ndreams acquires VR dev partner Near Light

Ndreams acquires VR dev partner Near Light

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

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

Near Light developed the Ndreams (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 major toy brands. The studio is currently developing an unannounced VR title that will be published by Ndreams.

Paul Mottram and Ben Hebb co-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 promoted new ways to play, including games in the EyeToy Play, SingStar and the Guitar Hero series.


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“We are very excited to deepen Ndreams’ relationship with Near Light after many years of fruitful partnerships,” Ndreams chief development officer Tom Gillo said in a statement. “Acquiring the studio will allow us to work even more closely together on medium-defining games, not to mention bring Ben and Paul’s 20+ years of industry experience into the Ndreams family to bring our own expertise not to strengthen.”

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

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

“Making our debut acquisition is another incredibly exciting milestone for nDreams,” Ndreams CEO Patrick O’Luanaigh added in a statement. “For other development studios with whom we are similarly aligned in vision and strategy, there is 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’re really proud to join Ndreams and together shape the future of VR and AR gaming, a new frontier with the opportunity to do things no one has done before,” said Paul Mottram, co-founder of Near Light, said in a statement. “Near Light is very much in line with the philosophy of Patrick and nDreams in terms of how we want to make games and build teams. It feels like the perfect fit for us.”

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

“Going all the way back to Perfect and Shooty Fruity, our collaboration with nDreams has been really enjoyable,” Near Light co-founder Ben Hebb added in a statement. “The feeling of working with a group of people on big projects that you get along with is a special, unique thing and an absolute privilege. We are delighted to be working 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 publishing 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 setting up Wide Games in Brighton in 2000 – the team behind who would go on to work again under Kuju as Zoë Mode.

Near Light leverages its leadership team’s experience from 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 the Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds. The Near Light team currently consists of eight people, but has previously expanded to about 20 at the height of projects. Its acquisition by NDreams gives it room to grow further.

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