Keywords Studios, founded by Giorgio Guastalla, a former Microsoft employee, and his wife Teresa Luppino, signed a conditional agreement to acquire Forgotten Empires for 32.5 million dollars. The studio is mainly known for the Age of Empire series. Keywords Studios has a number of studios under its wings such as Heavy Iron Studios, High Voltage Software, and Wicked Witch.
Forgotten Empires, which caught the eye of Microsoft with an unofficial expansion pack on the original Age of Empires, has collaborated with Microsoft Game Studios for many years. Known for titles such as the Age of Empires: Definitive Edition series and Age of Empires II: Rise of the Rajas, the company was founded in 2013 by Bert Beeckman. The company has Ryan Shepherd as Head of Studio.
Bertrand Bodson, CEO of Keywords Studios, commented on the acquisition:
“We are very excited to welcome Ryan and the Forgotten Empires team to Keywords. The 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. 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. We look forward to supporting Forgotten Empires’ continuing growth as part of the Group.”
Consideration of $32.5 million consists of $15.75 million in cash, $3.75 million one year after completion of shares, and $13 million in cash on a performance basis.
Forgotten Empires Studio Head Ryan Shepherd added the following comments on the subject;
“We are delighted to join Keywords Studios, an industry leading, fast growing business with a global footprint. We are really excited that they share our ambition and will provide the support to enable and underpin our continuing growth. 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 with the wider Keywords’ group to drive the combined business forward.”