Vivendi Games announced today (Sept. 28, 2006) it has purchased two development studios, Secret Lair Studios, located in Issaquah, Washington, and Studio Ch'in in Shanghai, China. The Studio Ch'in purchase is subject to the approval the People's Republic of China under Chinese Law, and Vivendi Games is in the process of obtaining such required approval. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
This positions Vivendi Games' Sierra Online division as a key publisher of Xbox Live Arcade titles. Sierra Online already has numerous Xbox Live Arcade titles in development, including action-packed ASSAULT HEROES, the highly anticipated CARCASSONNE, based on the popular tile-based board game, as well as other unannounced games. Xbox Live Arcade is a fast-growing phenomenon in console gaming. Both acquired studios also contribute extensive development experience on other consoles and platforms, specializing in mid-session and PC online titles.
"Working together, our teams in Los Angeles, Seattle and Shanghai, now form a significant internal development organization focused on creating cutting edge online entertainment with global appeal," said Ed Zobrist, president, Sierra Online. "We're excited about the vast creative opportunities presented by platforms like Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade and intend to be a premiere publisher for the popular online service as well as the PC online space."
"I firmly believe in this business that great games come from great people," said Jason Robar, head of studios for Sierra Online Seattle and Shanghai. "In joining the Sierra Online team, we become part of a tremendous group of people centered on quality game development. It's an exciting time in the industry with the ongoing success of Xbox Live Arcade and the anticipation of Windows Vista, which Microsoft has designed from the ground up for gaming. The combination of our current business relationships and development with Sierra Online's existing initiatives sets the highest standard for Xbox Live Arcade, mid-session and PC online titles."
"Sierra Online is an incredible partner for Xbox Live Arcade, incorporating a wealth of creativity and originality into its games," said Greg Canessa, gm, Xbox Live Arcade. "Over the next year, we're looking forward to adding exceptional games from Sierra Online to the diverse library of Xbox Live Arcade titles already being played by Xbox 360 owners around the world."
Sierra Online, a division of Vivendi Games, develops and publishes quality Xbox Live Arcade, mid-session and PC online titles for every viable platform. Titles in development include FREESTYLE STREET BASKETBALL, a fast-paced online basketball game featuring innovative community and customization capabilities; as well as Xbox Live Arcade and online games.
Vivendi Games (www.vivendigames.com) is a global developer, publisher and distributor of multi-platform interactive entertainment. The company is a leader in the subscription-based massively multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPG) category, holds leading positions in the PC, console, handheld and mobile games markets, and is an emerging player in casual online games. Vivendi Games' two principal studios and publishing labels include Blizzard Ent., headquartered in Irvine, California, the creator of WORLD OF WARCRAFT, DIABLO, STARCRAFT and WARCRAFT; and Los Angeles-based Sierra Ent., which includes Radical Ent., Swordfish Studios, High Moon Studios and Massive Ent. Sierra's IPs include CRASH BANDICOOT, SPYRO THE DRAGON, EMPIRE EARTH, SWAT, DARKWATCH, TIMESHIFT, GROUND CONTROL and LEISURE SUIT LARRY. Vivendi Games is also home to Vivendi Games Mobile, publishing games for the emerging mobile market, and Sierra Online, dedicated to publishing casual games for online play and distribution on all platforms. Vivendi Games maintains strategic relationships with industry leading content partners, including Universal Music Group, NBC Universal, Twentieth Century Fox and Ludlum Ent. The company has 16 offices around the world conducting business in 75 countries.