Joe and Anthony Russo's AGBO sells $400M stake to Tokyo-listed gaming company Nexon

2 weeks ago 13

AGBO, the artist-led independent banner led by Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo, has received a $400 million investment from Nexon Co., the Japanese video game maker.

Joe and Anthony Russo's AGBO sells $400M stake to Tokyo-listed gaming company Nexon

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the deal which values AGBO at $1.1 billion as Nexon takes a 38 percent stake, will accelerate the global expansion of Nexon’s existing and new franchise intellectual property into film and TV and will also fuel AGBO as it develops, produces and owns tentpole-led entertainment universes reaching global audiences via games and virtual world experiences.

AGBO CEO Jason Bergsman, who leads strategy and business operations at the Russo brothers’ indie banner said, “We’ve proven early success at AGBO to create entertainment franchises at a global scale, and this investment from Nexon allows us to do even more of that, to continue to press the envelope on their ambitions and accelerate what we’re already doing.”

He added that while the Russo brothers will continue to make smaller films away from the superhero arena like the Tom Holland starrer Cherry, they will mostly be working on a broad global creative canvas as they expand onto more digital platforms and world-facing streaming platforms look for content that appeals to audiences globally.

While AGBO has already begun early discussions with Netflix on a video game based on the Extraction property, the Russo brothers more broadly will look to do cross-platform collaborations with Nexon as each partner seeks to collectively extend its own IP onto additional media platforms aimed at global consumers.

As its ambitions grow with Nexon backing, the Tokyo-listed gaming company has committed to invest up to another $100 million in the first half of 2022, if AGBO makes the request.

Nexon, van Dyk explains, as a successful producer of online virtual worlds in Asia like Dungeon Fighter, The Kingdom of the Winds, MapleStory and KartRider, through its partnership with AGBO will expand into additional world markets across games, film, TV, merchandising and other experiences.

AGBO will continue as an independent entity, with the Russo brothers and their executives maintaining majority control over the company.

The Russo brothers and producing partner Larocca launched AGBO in 2017 and have since worked on films and TV series with partners like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, NBC Universal, Disney, Apple TV+, A24 and Roku. Before that, the Russo brothers and the writing team of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, AGBO’s co-presidents of story, partnered to direct and write four Marvel films, which netted $7 billion at the box office.

AGBO’s current slate includes Extraction 2, a sequel for Netflix; Citadel, a global event series for Amazon Prime; The Gray Man, starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, for Netflix; and the Russo brothers will next direct the Electric State adaptation for Universal, to include a TV component.

Also Read: Endgame director Joe Russo says Kevin Feige initially wanted the original 6 Avengers to die in the film


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