Keywords Studios has announced that it intends to acquire Age of Empires developer Forgotten Empires in a deal that could cost as much as $32.5 million.
Things have been going pretty great for the Age of Empires franchise as of late. Age of Empires 4 was a solid entry in the franchise and featured a stronger focus on history. It has even expanded to other platforms with a mobile game made by Tencent that debuted at No. 1 on the Chinese iOS store earlier this year. The company behind the latest iteration of this game may very well put its talents to use beyond the medieval RTS franchise -- it looks like it's going to be acquired by Keywords Studios.
Keywords Aims to Make the Most of Age of Empires Developer Expertise
As UK-based financial site Proactive reports (via Reddit), Keywords Studios has made an offer to acquire Age of Empires developer Forgotten Empires for up to $32.5 million. While the recent success of the Age of Empires franchise is surely a contributing factor to this purchase, it looks like Keywords also wants to make use of the unique expertise wielded by the studio.
"[Forgotten Empires] has been instrumental in helping to create, design[,] and grow the hugely successful and expanding Age of Empires series," Keywords Studios CEO Bertrand Bodson said in a blog post announcing the deal. "Forgotten Empires’ talented team brings experience and expertise particularly in [real-time] strategy games and will be a great addition to our client offering and game development capability."
The acquisition deal is reportedly comprised of $15.75 million in cash that will be paid upfront, $3.75 million in shares that will be issued one year after the completion of the deal, and a mix of $13 million in cash and shares depending on the performance of the company.
Forgotten Empires Founder and Studio Head Ryan Shepherd will stay on to continue leading the company he founded. While Age of Empires will surely remain a core focus for this developer, we may very well see this company's name on some other future titles if Keywords decides to lease out its RTS expertise to other game developers or its own internal studios.