In unexpected news, Italian websites are reporting that Kunos Simulazioni, the developer behind the racing simulator Assetto Corsa, has been bought out by Digital Bros.
Edit: Marco Massarutto has since clarified the situation on Facebook, confirming the takeover and that both him and Stefano Casillio will retain their roles. If anything, it's a positive step forward for the future of Assetto Corsa – the team now have more resources than ever before.
Here's his full statement:
Ok, let's clarify this before it becomes the bigger flame of the year.
By today, Kunos Simulazioni is part of Digital Bros Family, and me and Stefano by today are shareholders of Digital Bros. That's it. We are still the founders of Kunos, we are still IN, also keeping our respective positions and responsabilities, with just few exceptions: the budget we'll manage by now doesn't come anymore from our personal profits, but from Digital Bros, our bigger AC fan. Keeping the same policy, strategies, DNA, development team, goals. So, if this news would not been made public, you couldn't realize that something is changed, because – by a gamer/simracer point of view – nothing is going to change.
The reason why this news comes like a bombshell is because Digital Bros is a listed company, therefore this kind of operation must a) kept confidential until the negotiation is over, b) go public when is done. That's it.
For whom are afraid that today a piece of their simracing world has gone, let me remind them that Digital Bros has published – under its label 505Games – the console version of Assetto Corsa, and it doesn't seem to me that AC on PS4/XB1 is an arcade game: definetely it isn't. Therefore, before to scream in any direction that "Kunos has been bought, The World is Over", please sit down, breath and think. Because the only news you should be interested is that by today, we have more resources, time and power to do our job, even better than before.
So: think easier, live better, stay strong. The Future is Bright.
Have a nice weekend.
It is understood, however, that Digital Bros now has full ownership of Kunos Simulazioni and its assets – including Assetto Corsa.
You can find the full translated statement below.
Digital Bros will acquire 100% of Kunos Simulations
The Board of Directors of Digital Bros, listed on the Star segment of the Italian Stock Exchange and active in the digital entertainment sector, which met today approved the signing of an investment agreement having as its object the acquisition of 100% of the capital Kunos Simulations .
The Board of Directors of Digital Bros, listed on the Star segment of the Italian Stock Exchange and active in the digital entertainment sector, which met today approved the signing of an investment agreement having as its object the acquisition of 100% of the capital Kunos Simulations Srl, Italian developer Assetto Corsa. In the same session were also identified the beneficiaries of the options of the “Stock Option Plan 2016-2026” (the Plan) recently approved by the shareholders, the quantities of options granted, the exercise window and the unit price subscription.
Acquisition of 100% Kunos Simulations srl
Kunos Simulations srl It is an Italian company based in Formello (RM), which has all the latest years of experience in the construction of simulators for the main Italian automotive companies. Following this experience has developed and launched during 2014 Assetto Corsa, a video game that was a great success with critics and audiences in the Steam PC versions, Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One, with over 1.4 million copies sold worldwide to date. 505 Games, the division of the Digital Bros Group that deals with international publishing of video games, has during 2015 signed a publishing agreement the console versions. Assetto Corsa puts to players 150 cars, reproduced in every aspect, from the most prestigious global automotive brands such as Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Porsche and many others. Through the use of laser scan technology, every detail of the most famous tracks in the world has been reproduced with the utmost level of accuracy making the game a true sports driving simulation. With this acquisition, the Digital Bros Group intends to grow more and more as a publisher and developer of games able to collect worldwide success and be always ready to meet the demands of an increasingly demanding public. The acquisition allows full control of the intellectual property and the opportunity for the Group to invest in the future development of new versions of Assetto Corsa benefiting from an extremely well-positioned brand in the world market for video games. The fact that the Group already owns the publishing rights of Assetto Corsa for the console version also involves synergies in terms of brand positioning and optimization of advertising investments at a time when the rights are to be held entirely by the Group.
The transaction involves the acquisition by Digital Bros S.p.A. 100% of the shares of Kunos Simulations srl entity held by the two founders Stefano Casillo and Marco Massarutto being equal, for a total nominal value of Euro 4,341,500 Euros that will be paid as follows:
EUR 1,375,000 entirely in cash within one year from the date of execution;
In the absence of financial data of Kunos Simulations srl December 31, 2016, pricing was made by assuming a net assets at the same date amounted to $ 10,000, of any changes to this value will be an increase or decrease in the second installment of cash payment. Kunos Simulations srl realized during the year to 31 December 2015, the last available financial statements, revenues of 3.3 million euros and a net profit of 1.7 million euros. Shareholders’ equity at 31 December 2015 amounted to 3.1 million euros. No special form of financing has been provided for the operation which will therefore be financed through the existing credit lines and whose execution date is expected by April 30, 2017. The agreement is binding on the parties and is subject to a condition precedent the effect of any significant findings that may emerge from the due diligence process to be put in place as soon as the financial data at December 31, 2016 will be available as well as at the positive resolution of the Shareholders.