French VR/AR Company ePawn Acquired by Starbreeze

    Starbreeze AB, the company behind the StarVR head-mounted display (HMD) has been busy over that last few weeks. It announced the finalisation of a joint venture with Acer on the HMD, bought the rights to classic videogames, collaborated with Smilegate on a virtual reality (VR) platform and much more. Today Starbreeze announced the acquisition of French toys to life, VR and augmented reality (AR) tech company ePawn.

    ePawn merges real life gaming experiences with their digital counter part through its gaming boards and mats in table and room scale sizes. Using patented technology the company captures everything that happens on the game board and feeds digital applications with information. The company has developed several versions of its technology to work in several markets, such as videogames, toys and board games.

    “With ePawn, we will significantly diversify our virtual reality and toys-to-life offerings, as well as speed up the development of existing internal projects already in the works,” said Bo Andersson Klint, Starbreeze CEO. “The ePawn team has already innovated and productified their technologies and we acquire not only many good ways of applying them, but also a solid portfolio of patents that will benefit Starbreeze for many years to come.”

    The deal means that Starbreeze gets seven registered patents and nine staff who are based in Paris, France. While the acquisition is not expected to impact the financial performance of Starbreeze short term, ePawn’s tech should help to unlock synergies related to several of Starbreeze ongoing and future projects, generating small revenues in the future.

    “For ePawn, I especially appreciate the location based entertainment applications, where for example the VR-mat will enable us to offer even more immersive experiences in our VR-centers,” said Emmanuel Marquez, Starbreeze CTO. “Additionally, the toys-to-life applications are numerous and the ability to technically track physical objects in our future games, such as Geminose, are really promising. The potential to be able to add augmented reality components to further enhance the gameplay for mobile devices are really exciting.”

    VRFocus will continue its coverage of Starbreeze, reporting back with any further announcements.