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Team17 on hunt for IP and studios, but only if they're right

Team17 on hunt for IP and studios, but only if they're right

The CEO of UK indie games label Team17 Debbie Bestwick has managed expectations around the firm's plans moving forward.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, the exec said that people are expecting a spending spree on new IP and developer following the publisher's IPO earlier this year. In reality, the indie label is looking for IP and creators to purchase, but only if they are the right cultural fit for Team17.

"We are content creators and we are helping other content creators make games, build businesses and develop brands long-term," she said.

"The IPO hasn't fundamentally changed this. We are of course thinking about long-term growth, too, but doing it in the right way for us.

"Everyone is expecting us to go out there and buy lots of studios and to do this merger or that acquisition. The biggest job I have is managing everyone's expectations. Why would we change what we're doing when it's delivering such great growth? We will acquire more IP - existing and new IPs - as we're going through things, but it must be right for our partners, for people out there in the world, and ourselves. We are not huge about taking over people's IPs. It is not the most important thing for me. But we are interested in exploring discussions where it makes sense.

"The other area people often ask is if we plan to add more development capacity. We do, but we prefer to do it organically. We've doubled our headcount in the last couple of years. We have a great culture, so it needs to be right. How many M&A businesses do you see fail? You have to find the right cultural fit."

Team17 IPO'd in May of this year - one of three UK games businesses to do so alongside Codemasters and Sumo Digital. The firm anticipated gross proceeds from going public to come in at $144.1m.


Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he was hired to launch PCGamesInsider.biz for Steel Media before departing the firm in October 2019.

He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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