Keywords snaps up Age of Empires game developer for US$32.5mln
The acquisition is part of its strategy to become the 'go to' technical and creative services platform in video gaming
Keywords Studios has signed a conditional agreement to acquire Forgotten Empires, a full-service video game development studio, for up to US$32.5mln.
Forgotten Empires specialises in strategy games and developed Age of Empires for Microsoft, where it also worked with Keywords, including all of the recent version updates of the successful franchise.
Keywords said the acquisition is part of its strategy to become the 'go to' technical and creative services platform in the global video games industry.
Based in Ohio and founded by Ryan Shepherd in 2013, Forgotten Empires employs 53 people and generated revenue of US$7.2mln in 2021, a figure that is expected to grow strongly in the current year, said Keywords.
The US$32.5m consideration comprises US$15.75m cash upfront, US$3.75m in shares to be issued one-year post-completion and up to US$13mln in cash and shares based on performance.
Bertrand Bodson, Keywords Studios chief executive, said: “ The [Forgotten Empires] studio has been instrumental in helping to create, design and grow the hugely successful and expanding Age of Empires series.
“Forgotten Empires' talented team brings experience and expertise, particularly in real-time strategy games and will be a great addition to our client offering and game development capability.
Ryan Shepherd, who is staying on to run the business, added: “Having worked alongside some of Keywords' development studios we know the cultural fit will work well and we look forward to working more closely together."
in a separate trading update, Keywords said it had made a positive start to the 2022 year with strong organic revenue growth in the first four months.
"We are confident that the performance for the full year will be in line with current expectations.
"Keywords remains well-funded to deliver on its organic growth and acquisition strategy."
The videogames ancillary specialist also gave details of its capital markets day that starts today at 2pm, UK time, (Wednesday 8 June) and during which Keywords will outline its strategic objectives (details here).
The next scheduled update on trading will be the Group's interim results in September 2022.