Hong Kong-based online gaming publisher NetDragon has acquired L.A.-based JumpStart, an educational games developer best known for its Neopets virtual world, which has more than 75 million users. (JumpStart bought Neopets from Viacom in 2014.)
Founded in 1991, JumpStart is also behind original titles like Math Blaster as well third-party virtual worlds including MMORPG School of Dragons. The latter is based on DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise, and has more than 30 million registered players across the globe. Along with School of Dragons, the developer has a partnership with DreamWorks Animation to produce educational games based on its movies like Madagascar.
NetDragon, meanwhile, has also dabbled in kid content partnerships before, teaming up with Disney in 2008 to launch a role-playing game called Disney Fantasy Online.
Following the acquisition, the price of which has not been disclosed, JumpStart will become a subsidiary of NetDragon. The Chinese firm plans to grow JumpStart’s educational gaming products with learning-based institutions (both within the US and abroad) as well as with consumers. The deal will also allow JumpStart to expand into new markets, particularly Asia.
NetDragon is known for a successful track record in developing MMORPGs, having established China’s number one online gaming portal, 17173.com.