Warner is in talks to buy Machinima, a troubled network of YouTube gaming videos

Machinima (34 of 46)Harrison Jacobs/Business InsiderMachinima CEO Chad Gutstein

Warner Bros. is close to buying Machinima, a YouTube network for gaming videos, in a deal valuing the company under $100 million, reports the Information.

That’s barely more than $92 million in venture capital the company has raised since being founded in 2000. Warner was one of the previous investors.

The name “Machinima” is the term for making videos using the in-game graphics of a computer game, like the popular “Red Vs. Blue” series, filmed using the “Halo” series.

Machinima, the company, was designed as a network of YouTube videos and podcasts to give creators making those videos a broader reach.

Over the years, the Machinima empire grew, taking venture capital from the likes of Google and Warner Bros. itself as it expanded to original content based on franchises like “Street Fighter,” “Mortal Kombat,” “Justice League,” and “Transformers.” Circa 2012, Machinima’s valuation was said to be $250 million.

But as the video ad market cooled off, Machinima’s fortunes reversed, and it’s been struck by layoffs and big executive changes. In 2015, the company settled a complaint from the FTC that it had been paying “influencers” to promote Microsoft’s Xbox One game console in videos without disclosing that the deals were part of a Microsoft marketing campaign.

Warner Bros. actually had the opportunity to take advantage of its stake in the company and buy Machinima outright earlier this year for twice its annual revenue, or $150 million, reports the Information, but didn’t want to pay that much.

Warner Bros. declined to comment. Machinima did not respond to a request for comment at press time.

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