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Nintendo Acquires Shiver Entertainment From Embracer Group

Nintendo Acquires Shiver Entertainment From Embracer Group - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 20 May 2024 / 2,902 Views

Nintendo announced it has acquired Miami-based developer Shiver Entertainment from Embracer Group.

Shiver Entertainment was founded in December 2012 and develops games for multiple platforms, including the Nintendo Switch. The studio most recently developed ports for Hogwarts Legacy and Mortal Kombat 1.

"Shiver is a video game development company that develops software for multiple platforms including Nintendo Switch,” reads the press release.

"Since its establishment in 2012, Shiver has partnered with publishers and developers through commissions for large scale title developments, and recently, has worked on porting and developing software titles such as Hogwarts Legacy and Mortal Kombat 1."

"Nintendo will acquire 100 percent of the outstanding shares of Shiver and make it a wholly owned subsidiary. By welcoming Shiver’s experienced and accomplished development team, Nintendo aims to secure high-level resources for porting and developing software titles.

"Going forward, even after it becomes a part of the Nintendo group, Shiver’s focus will remain the same, continuing commissions that port and develop software for multiple platforms including Nintendo Switch.

"The acquisition will be completed pending satisfaction of all relevant customary closing conditions."

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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Scoopz (on 20 May 2024)

It's a great strategy when you remember Nintendos hiring of Gio Corsi who was a PlayStation exec responsible for 3rd party relations. This acquisition goes hand in hand with that.

The statement about this acquisition reveals Shiver will still be able to do porting work for companies other than Nintendo.

So it wouldn't surprise me if this acquisition was to facilitate greater amounts of 3rd party ports to Switch 2 with Shiver on hand to offer to do the porting work on 3rd parties behalf making porting to Switch 2 less resource intensive and therefore more appealing for 3rd parties

  • +8
firebush03 Scoopz (on 21 May 2024)

this is truly Nintendo’s Golden Age. Focus is not only directed toward pumping punt a consistent stream of 1st party titles, but now 3rd parties as well. Curious to see how these decision will work out next Gen…

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pavel1995 (on 21 May 2024)

Wow hell froze over nintendo bought a company

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KrspaceT pavel1995 (on 21 May 2024)

Its absorbed studios. Next Level wasn't 1st party until a few years ago, for examp.e

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SanAndreasX (on 21 May 2024)

Nintendo also needs to pick up Panic Button and Saber Interactive. Those companies did a great job with the Switch ports of Doom, The Witcher, and Kingdom Come, respectively.

  • +1
KrspaceT SanAndreasX (on 21 May 2024)

That's (probably) up to Embracer. Though isn't Saber the ones that people think has the Knights of the Old Republic reboot at the moment? That would have said game be a Nintendo only title, which I'm sure would thrill the internet.

...The fires would be entertaining to watch though.

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KrspaceT (on 21 May 2024)

Theoretical question, but what would have happened if Nintendo had bought one of the developers from Embracer, IP or otherwise. Like, in some world, they owned the creators and/or rights to Tomb Raider, Timesplitters, Metro Last Light, Borderlands, Saints Row, or other such titles instead of a porting studio.

Would the gamers be happy or acting like its the end of the world (with the caveat that if Nintendo then booted Pitchford, I suspect that it would be appreciated)

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UnderwaterFunktown (on 20 May 2024)

Wasn't MK1 one of the worst ports though? And while getting Hogwarts Legacy onto the Switch is impressive it sounds like it was a mixed success as well. An inhouse porting studio is interesting if nothing else, but they didn't exactly choose the one with the best track record.

  • 0
Scoopz UnderwaterFunktown (on 21 May 2024)

Given the disparity in power between Switch 1 and the current gen consoles it's a wonder they got it playable at all. Shiver didn't do bad work, they clearly know their way around the hardware, but there's only so much you can do with a port. They weren't afforded the budget or given the instruction for a ground up bespoke version. Remember this time around there wasnt any last gen versions of Mortal Kombat. If MK was also being made for PS4 and Xbox 1 then that couldve made making a bespoke last gen version financially viable. But that wasnt the case. So the current gen build was used and it got scaled back to fit Switch 1. Switch 2 ports will have far better parity.

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ireadtabloids Scoopz (on 21 May 2024)

The Hogwarts Legacy port was respected by the industry.
Mortal Kombat 1 was an ambitious attempt. Shouldn’t have launched in that state, but they’re still working on it and it has improved.
Even it will probably be hard to recommend it for Switch owners over MK11 even when the next patch comes out.

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Even if they’re not one of the best they’re proven competent and I suspect Nintendo needed someone like them and with Embracer being the seller the price is right.

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Scoopz ireadtabloids (on 21 May 2024)

To be fair it wouldn't have been Shivers call to release MK1 when they did. They're a developer for hire. It would've been entirely the publishers decision.

  • +1
UnderwaterFunktown Scoopz (on 21 May 2024)

I get what you're saying but it is a lot of assumptions. It's quite possible they can do fine work in the future given better time and more powerful hardware but it's hard to argue they have one of the weaker track records at the moment compared with other porting studios. I don't think they're bad at what they do but at the moment I don't think anything points to them being particularly great either. I'd love to be proven wrong in the future.

  • 0
Scoopz UnderwaterFunktown (on 21 May 2024)

It's an apples to oranges situation. You're no doubt comparing ports that had their fundamental design built around last gen consoles ( Witcher, Doom etc) and therefore would have lower peaks to scale down from to one's like Hogwarts and MK which are more graphically current gen making their visual identity and integrity far harder to retain when scaling down to what is essentially a 2015 era mobile chipset. It's not as simple as these developers have done great ports to Switch so why can't Shiver? It depends on the design fundamentals 1st and foremost as well as time and budget allocated by the publisher. You can only do so much when scaling down a current gen showcase to Switch level hardware.

Nintendo who have exponentially more insight into development demands and possibilities than any of us saw their work and was impressed enough to buy them. That should shape your perspective.

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UnderwaterFunktown Scoopz (on 21 May 2024)

Well you're not really saying anything that conflicts with my statements. Like I said their track record isn't the best (looking at the end result) and sure it's very possible that's only because their ports have been some of the most ambitious, arguably too ambitious. It can at least be said to their advantage that they have more experience with recent titles than most other studios which could be useful going forward.

  • 0
Scoopz UnderwaterFunktown (on 21 May 2024)

What im saying completely contradicts what youre saying as youre missing the point. Youre asserting that the ports arent good, as if those ports demonstrate some kind of shortcoming at Shiver. What im saying is that assertion is flawed as youre articulated that youre comparing it to other ports such as Witcher and Doom that have last gen backgrounds. Thats a massive factor to not consider.

For Shiver to have retained as much of the games integrity as they did demonstrates great technical accomplishment and as i said Nintendo who have a greater insight than you or I have gone on to acquire Shiver based on their work. So that contradicts your assertion.

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UnderwaterFunktown Scoopz (on 21 May 2024)

I never articulated comparing it to Witcher or Doom, that was you. And well if you're saying they're good ports because they were hard to make then yes we don't agree on that. There's a difference between an impressive effort and a good product, neither the MK1 or HL port has any positive (green) reviews on metacritic. And again I'm not saying they're not talented, only what I opened with: their track record isn't the best. That's all for now.

  • 0
Scoopz UnderwaterFunktown (on 21 May 2024)

Again youre missing the point. You questioned the acquisition because of the state of the ports which in terms of your needs/preferences werent good ports and you insinuated therefore Shiver was a questionable purchase. I then went on to highlight why said ports werent a demonstration of any shortcoming of ability at Shiver and that there are limits to what can be done with a downscaled port vs a bespoke iteration (like you used to get in the Wii days.) I also said the ports were impressive in terms of how much of MK1s current gen visual identity and overall integrity Shiver were able to retain. Nintendo clearly agree with me.

The ability to maintain the core visual and gameplay essence of a port from a much more powerful system is a valuable ability to have for Nintendo as it works towards making the Switch 2 generation a similar success to Switch 1.

So to sum it up, its a case of being able to put your own interests and preference aside and putting your Nintendo hat on as you'll never be able to even begin to understand their purchasing decision whilst quibbling about things at a gamer/consumer level.

  • +1
UnderwaterFunktown Scoopz (on 22 May 2024)

It's like you're reading only half of my comments to make a case that I'm painting Shiver and the purchase as strictly bad, just so you can have something to argue against. I mentioned myself how the fact that they had handled recent games was an advantage compared to other studios. I'm not really interested in an unnuanced discussion so let's just leave it here.

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Scoopz UnderwaterFunktown (on 22 May 2024)

Unnuanced? That would be the premise behind your criticism of this purchase which was what I took issue with in the 1st place. I engaged you in discussion only for you to repeatedly talk about things from a gamer perspective (as if thats relevant to understanding the purchasing decision of an international organisation) and completely miss the point. When I finally drove that point home and the penny dropped, instead of a mature acknowledgement you bail out of the discussion in bad taste. Disappointing

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I think it's because the time given to port each game. Mk1 was released on the same day as the other mk games while hogwarts was given months to cook. That's the difference. Oh and from what I've heard mk1 on switch has gotten better with updates

  • +1
burninmylight pavel1995 (on 21 May 2024)

^This. If the studio had more time to fine-tune the game before launch instead of having to resort to post-launch patches, the narrative around MK1 on Switch would be much different.

With Shiver now under a platform holder instead of a third party publisher, I'd imagine they'll be given more time, resources and budget to put their best foot forward on projects going to Nintendo consoles. If there is any publisher out there who is big on releasing games in a respectable state at launch, it's Nintendo.

  • +3
deerox (on 20 May 2024)

"Going forward, even after it becomes a part of the Nintendo group, Shiver’s focus will remain the same, continuing commissions that port and develop software for multiple platforms including Nintendo Switch"

Interesting that a Nintendo studio is going to release games on non-Nintendo consoles.

  • 0
curl-6 deerox (on 20 May 2024)

"Multiple platforms" could potentially refer to future Nintendo hardware, not necessarily PS/Xbox.
We'll have to wait and see.

  • +7
Dulfite curl-6 (on 20 May 2024)

That's how I read it too. They may make some Switch 1 port or two before the console is done. Also Switch 2. That's "multiple platforms."

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Bofferbrauer2 Dulfite (on 21 May 2024)

Also potentially some smartphone or even PC titles/ports, though the latter is probably not going to happen.

  • -1

I think it's because Shiver Entertainment has ongoing contracts to be fulfilled. Once completed, I doubt there will be any more ports to non-Nintendo consoles.

  • +1
Dulfite (on 20 May 2024)

Nintendo's AAA third party offerings for Twitch just got larger.

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