Posted on April 23, 2019 by staff

Keywords Studios acquires mobile developer


An AIM-listed provider of technical services to the global video games industry has swooped for a Japanese mobile developer.

Dublin-headquartered Keywords Studios has acquired Wizcorp in a deal worth 120 million yen (£826,000) from Ankama SAS and Silicon Studio Corporation.

Keywords Studios, which recently revealed a 66 per cent surge in group revenue in 2018, provides integrated art creation, software engineering, testing, localisation, audio and customer care services across more than 50 languages and 16 games platforms to a blue-chip client base across the globe.

Set up in 1998, it now has over 40 facilities in 20 countries across Asia, the Americas and Europe.

It provides its services to 23 of the top 25 most prominent games companies, including Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, and Sony.

Recent titles worked on include Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Call of Duty: WWII, Mortal Kombat X, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Battlefield 1, League of Legends and Fortnite.

Last year Keywords made two multi-million-pound acquisitions.

Based in Tokyo, Wizcorp develops games on behalf of others mainly in the mobile space, with particular expertise in HTML5 and other mobile technologies.

Wizcorp was established in 2008 and has provided game development as a service to a wide variety of Japanese publishers and developers such as LINE, Square Enix, Avex, Yahoo Japan, and Bandai Namco, as well as undertaking game development for its parent company, Ankama.

Wizcorp’s 35-person strong team, led by CEO Guillaume Hansali, is made up of talented software engineers and artists from around the world.

“We are thrilled to welcome Guillaume and the Wizcorp team to join our fast-growing operations in Tokyo where we already employ 300 people,” said Christopher Kennedy, regional managing director – Asia at Keywords Studios.

“Japan is one of the world’s most significant game development hubs and has a long history in this industry.

“Keywords is excited at the opportunities Wizcorp will bring the Group and its clients in the Japanese market as it becomes the latest member of our global Engineering service line.

“Wizcorp’s HTML5 expertise is a valuable extension to our console, mobile and PC games development skills, which is particularly interesting in the context of Snap’s recent launch of its HTML5 based gaming platform.

“We look forward to replicating the success of our previous transaction with our long-standing client, Ankama, which saw us acquire their 23 people strong captive player support operation in Manila in March 2016 before building it into a multi-client player support hub that now employs 700 people.

“We see a strong opportunity to accelerate Wizcorp’s growth by building on its existing services for some of Ankama’s game development needs and providing it with opportunities to work with Keywords’ extensive client base.”