Keywords coconut lizard

Keywords Studios acquires Unreal specialist Coconut Lizard

Keywords Studios this morning announced the acquisition of Coconut Lizard. The Gateshead-based external development studio, which specialised in assisting teams with Unreal Engine development.

The deal is worth a total of £2m, with £1m upfront, £350,000 in shares, plus the rest in performance-related bonuses over the next 12 months. The deal revealed that Coconut Lizard had generated revenues of £1.5m in 2019/20 and profits of £350,000. The team currently numbers 29 people, having grown by 10 since the the start of the year.

Coconut Lizard’s client base includes Rare, with the company lending its expertise to Sea of Thieves. With the continued success of Unreal Engine, and the UE5 launching shortly, an expert in the tool seems like a very good investment.

Coconut Lizard founder Robert Troughton said to MCV/DEVELOP: “We’re super excited to become part of the Keywords family, joining some of the best development service studios in the world. Today is a great, great day for our team and for our clients.”

A statement from Keywords also noted the studio’s excellent access to graduate talent: “ Importantly, in addition to expanding the Group’s Game Development services, it brings strong access to game development talent including graduates from the specialised video game development and engineering degree courses at University of Sunderland and Newcastle University.”

Founded by Robert Troughton, Coconut Lizard provides “a range of services including game optimisation, game hardening, game porting and middleware integration for the Unreal Engine game development suite.” Troughton was recently the subject of our Final Boss interview.

Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords Studios commented:

“We are delighted to welcome Robert and the team at Coconut Lizard to the Keywords family. The Coconut Lizard team will bring further expertise in the Unreal Engine as well as access to talent to our wider team of around 1,000 people working across our Game Development studios internationally.

“Having recently successfully raised £100m in a placing, we are pleased to have completed our first acquisition despite the Covid-19 pandemic. We expect to complete further acquisitions over the months ahead from the strong and attractive pipeline of opportunities that we are currently reviewing.”

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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