Arctic7 Expands into Virtual Production with Narwhal Studios Acquisition

(Image credit: Artic7)

AUSTIN—Game development company Arctic7 has announced the acquisition of Narwhal Studios and Star Fort Games in deals that will provide it with additional experience from leading creatives in both the video game development and virtual production space.

Financial terms weren't disclosed. 

The deals provide another example of how virtual production is fueling closer ties between the video game developers and the film and TV production industries. 

The acquisition of LA-based Narwhal Studios marks Arctic7’s first expansion into virtual production. The team at Narwhal Studios has utilized their skill and experience in some of the largest shows and films in the world, such as "The Mandalorian", "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania" and "Black Adam".

At the same time, Arctic7 said it is expanding its video game development foundations with the acquisition of Ottawa-based Star Fort Games, which will strengthen Arctic7’s expertise in the games industry and expand its reach and studio capabilities to Canada. 

With studios based in Austin, Montenegro and now Los Angeles and Ottawa, Arctic7 now has more than 100 employees across the world.  

CEO and co-founder of Arctic7 Igor Efremov explained that “Our aim at Arctic7 is to create amazing entertainment experiences for our partners. The acquisition of Narwhal Studios and Star Fort games enables us to further expand our ability to do that. Narwhal’s experience in virtual production - working with the world's premier intellectual property - represents an exciting step for us, not least given the growing cross media opportunity in gaming. Similarly, Star Fort’s abilities in creating games across platforms, together with games as a service also adds further exciting capabilities for us.’’

The acquisition of Narwhal Studios follows the recent appointment of Narwhal founder Felix Jorge as chief communications officer at Arctic7. 

“By joining forces with Arctic7, we plan to bring the virtual art department and ICVFX to a wider audience than ever before,” Jorge said. “We are supercharging the techniques and processes we created, and developing the training programs and virtual production tools necessary to launch the next generation of film, TV, and game productions.”

The Star Fort Games deal will allow the combined companies to leverage the independent game studio’s work across multiple platforms, from global mobile titles to blockbuster console games.  

“We are thrilled to be joining the Arctic7 studio family and so excited for this next chapter of Star Fort Games,” said studio head Lindsay Daggit at Star Fort Games. “I am most excited about the new opportunities this partnership will provide for our people and our studio as a whole. Combining our strengths with the other Arctic7 studios in a complementary fashion will allow us to achieve new heights together.”

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.