Video game provider Keywords Studios has snapped up development studio Forgotten Empires for $32.5m (£25.9m), cementing the firm’s position as the ‘go to’ technical and creative services platform for the global industry.
Founded in 2013 by studio head Ryan Shepherd, who will continue leading Forgotten Empires within Keywords Studios, the studio specialises in the development of real time strategy games (“RTS”) including Microsoft’s classic franchise, Age of Empires.
Headquartered in Ohio in the US, Forgotten Empires’ has a team of 53 game developers, who have worked on many games including all of the Age of Empires Definitive Editions, Age of Mythology: Extended Edition and Age of Empires IV.
Forgotten Empires generated revenue of $7.2m in 2021 and is expected to grow strongly in the current year.
Under the terms of the deal, Keywords Studios will pay a maximum amount of $32.5m, comprised of initial cash consideration of $15.75m, the equivalent of $3.75m in new ordinary shares to be issued one year post completion, and up to $13m, in a mix of cash and new ordinary shares based on growth targets being met over the year following completion.
The new ordinary shares in Keywords Studios, which is based in Ireland, to be issued are subject to one-year orderly market provisions.
CEO of Keywords Studios Bertrand Bodson said Forgotten Empires 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. Forgotten Empires’ strong track record of attracting and retaining talent globally is a testament to Ryan, his team and the high quality of the work that the studio produces”, he added.