It looks as if the final questions remaining after the Activision Blizzard merger are set to be answered – buyers are stepping up for its last unwanted studio, Swordfish, just days after Ubisoft swooped in to buy its other ‘For Sale’ studio, Massive.
Nottingham, UK-based MMO tech developer Monumental has signed up to buy the studio’s Manchester office.
The move means that one of the remaining assets Activision Blizzard wanted to have ‘realigned or divested’.
26 staff will join Monumental, working out of offices now rebranded as Monumental Manchester.
Monumental’s CEO, Rik Alexander, said: “When this opportunity arose it immediately made sense. The Swordfish team are a perfect fit in terms of culture, expertise and ambition, and there’s no doubt that, from today, Monumental is in an even stronger position to drive the future development of the online gaming market.
“Importantly, the Swordfish team is one of the very few developers worldwide to have fully solved the hugely complex issues involved in running and managing the XLSP (Xbox Live! Server Platform) server environments for online console gaming. This knowledge base will help to consolidate Monumental’s position as the market leading online game developer.”
Swordfish studio head Mile Delves will joins the Monumental management team to head up the new Manchester studio.
He commented: “The Manchester team have already been getting to know their counterparts from Nottingham and we’re really excited about working together and all the new opportunities this represents. Monumental have clearly been the ones to watch for a while now, and we’re glad to be playing a crucial part in a new phase of growth.”
Monumental is currently also developing a new MMO, Football Superstars, and offers the Monumental Technology Suite to partners, with over 50 licensees already.
“We have long been convinced that MTS offers a far more cost and time effective solution for bringing MMO games to market and for developing Virtual World’s for commercial applications. The robustness of the technology, coupled with its ease of use, means that it’s ideal both as a development platform and for full commercial application,” added Alexander.
“Acquiring the Swordfish business in Manchester gives us the capacity to invest ahead of the curve and to maintain our growth profile throughout next year.”
A buyer for Swordfish’s Birmingham studio is expected to be announced shortly, Develop understands.