Posted on September 18, 2018 by staff

Revenue up for games studios ahead of key acquisitions


Keywords Studios, IT services provider to the video games industry, has acquired two key firms as it announces revenues are up.

Renowned Hollywood sound designer Scott Gershin and his Sound Lab team in Burbank, California, have joined Keywords Studios from Technicolor. Brighton-based The TrailerFarm is also coming on board.

The team has also announced half year results for the six months to 30 June 2018 with a revenue increase of 72 per cent to €110.0m.

During the period the company has launched Keywords Ventures to invest in innovative technologies and services in the games market. It made its first investment in automated app testing solution for GDPR compliance, AppSec Test, in June.

Sound Lab at Keywords is a leader in the video game and immersive entertainment market (VR/AR) and provides sound services for movies and streaming (over the top – OTT content).

In support of the arrival of the Sound Lab team, Keywords is investing in new, state-of-the-art production equipment to fit out a sound design studio in Burbank already occupied by Sound Lab.

With more than 30 years’ experience in sound design, Scott Gershin and his team have been credited on an extensive list of bestselling video games including the likes of Final Fantasy XV, Resident Evil and Gears of War and worked on projects for Riot, Capcom, Activision, Amazon and a host of others.

At Keywords, Gershin will also be continuing his work in the film and broadcast industry having worked on such titles as Nightcrawler, Pacific Rim, American Beauty, Hellboy 2, Team America, Shrek and The Book of Life.

“I’m delighted to welcome Scott and his team into the Keywords family,” said Keywords Studios CEO Andrew Day.

“As games become ever more immersive, sound design quality is getting ever closer to that of movies.

“Our new Sound Lab studio, created around Scott and his team, will be integrated within the Keywords Audio Services Line and will benefit accordingly from our global network of studios and our extensive video game client base around the world.

“The sound design services we are adding with this investment help round out the full suite of audio services we are now able to offer to clients in interactive and linear media.”

The second acquisition, The TrailerFarm, is based in Brighton, UK. TrailerFarm produces trailers for the marketing and support of video games.

It will complement Keywords’ recently acquired Fire Without Smoke marketing services business in producing high impact, cost-effective trailers for a broad range of games.

Founded in 2011 by brothers Tony and Dan Porter, TrailerFarm’s team of 12 creative directors, video game artists, project managers and motion graphic designers produce trailers for both mobile and console/PC games for use in game launches and ongoing promotional events.

In the year ending 30 June 2018, TrailerFarm posted revenues of £1m and adjusted EBITDA of £165k. Under the terms of the acquisition, Keywords is paying a total consideration of up to £2m.

“Trailers are the primary marketing asset for video games and Keywords’ ability to produce trailers across the spectrum from cost effective small productions to the very high end trailers for AAA games positions us well in this interesting segment of the games services market,” said Day.

“Bringing together art, animation, sound effect, music and voiced audio, trailers can further act as a showcase for our range of services and creative abilities.”