[From the industry] Keywords Studios strengthens its game development and live operations offerings through acquisition of Smoking Gun

This is a press release posted in addition to our usual editorial content.

Keywords Studios, the international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry, today announces that it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire the Vancouver, Canada based game development studio, Smoking Gun.

Founded in 2007 by industry veterans John Johnson, Drew Dunlop and Angie Pytlewski, Smoking Gun is now a 68 person video game development studio. It has a long track record in developing, enhancing and supporting highly rated, cross platform games for mobile, PC and console devices and works for publishers including Microsoft and Netflix Games. ​ The talented Smoking Gun team has particular expertise in the casual, real time strategy (RTS) and action genres and works on some of the industry’s best-known classic games including Microsoft Solitaire Collection and Microsoft Mahjong. ​ The studio also produced the highly successful RTS game Age of Empires: Castle Siege, part of the classic Age of Empires franchise. ​ John, Drew and Angie will continue to manage the studio as part of the Keywords group. ​ ​

Bertrand Bodson, CEO of Keywords Studios commented: “We are delighted to welcome John, Drew, Angie and the highly skilled Smoking Gun team to Keywords. Smoking Gun has a 15 year history of high quality game development and the studio’s expertise in casual and RTS development for mobile games combined with its experience in live operations games support are valuable extensions of our client offering. ​ The acquisition builds on our presence in the Vancouver area, which is a rich source of talent and one of North America’s video gaming hubs. ​ We are really looking forward to working with the Smoking Gun team and supporting the studio’s continuing growth as part of the Group.”

John Johnson, Drew Dunlop and Angie Pytlewski of Smoking Gun, commented: “We are very excited to be joining Keywords. Keywords is an industry leader with an unrivalled range of high quality services which will help accelerate Smoking Gun’s growth and provide opportunities to build, deliver and support more award winning titles. ​ We are really looking forward to playing our part in helping to deliver on the strategy of the wider Keywords group by bringing Smoking Gun’s expertise and experience to the Group’s client offering.”

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