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Finnish dev Immobile sells Early Access game SkidStorm to Cheetah Mobile after pirated version goes viral in China

Publishing deal turns into an offer too good to turn down
Finnish dev Immobile sells Early Access game SkidStorm to Cheetah Mobile after pirated version goes viral in China
Date Type Companies Involved Size
Dec 1, 2017 acquisition Cheetah Mobile Immobile Games Not disclosed
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Finnish developer Immobile Games has sold its unreleased arcade racing title SkidStorm to Chinese publisher Cheetah Mobile for an undisclosed sum after the game was pirated and launched in China without the developer's knowledge.

The game was initially released on Google Play's Early Access scheme, where it drew some initial attention. The APK file was then pirated and released on various file-sharing sites, eventually making its way to an app store in China.

There the game went viral and caught the attention of Cheetah Mobile. The company then approached Immobile with a publishing deal, who later decided to sell.

Silver linings

"We first signed a publishing deal for the game, and later they offered to buy the whole IP," Immobile Games co-founder Aapo Lehikoinen told PocketGamer.biz.

"The offer was simply too good to refuse as it allows us to expand our company and gives us plenty of time to develop new projects."

Lehikoinen also said that SkidStorm is expected to receive a full launch on Google Play soon. A post from Immobile Games on Facebook stated that Cheetah will handle development and maintenance for the game from this point on.

SkidStorm had been in development at Immobile for almost two years. It placed third in our Very Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki in September 2016.