Keywords Studios Acquires SoftBank-Backed Improbable Unit for $97M

Keywords Studios Acquires SoftBank-Backed Improbable Unit for $97M

UTC by Chimamanda U. Martha · 3 min read
Keywords Studios Acquires SoftBank-Backed Improbable Unit for $97M
Photo: Shutterstock

Keywords Studios said that the team, consisting of Andy Norman, Rocco Loscalzo, Vaughan O’Brien, and Roger Cheung, will continue to lead the business after the successful completion of the acquisition.

Keywords Studios, an infrastructure solution provider for game and entertainment services, has acquired a unit of the SoftBank-backed metaverse platform Improbable for £79.5 million, approximately $97 million.

In an official announcement on December 18, the company said it had purchased The Multiplayer Group Ltd (MPG), a separate unit of Improbable focused on game development outside the metaverse.

Keywords Welcome MPG to Its Fold

MPG has been part of Improbable since 2019, following its acquisition from the original founders in 2018. The company has now found a new home with Keywords, where it will maintain its operation as a multiplayer game developer without alterations to its current leadership.

“We are thrilled to welcome the MPG team to Keywords. MPG is a business that we have long admired for its high-quality work, blue-chip client base, deep experience in developing AAA multiplayer games, and its use of technology and data analytics,” said Bertrand Bodson, CEO of Keywords Studios.

Keywords Studios said that the team, consisting of Andy Norman, Rocco Loscalzo, Vaughan O’Brien, and Roger Cheung, will continue to lead the business after the successful completion of the acquisition. They will also participate in a management incentive program set up by the new owner based on ambitious growth targets over the next two years.

According to MPG’s website, the company boasts a team of 360 staff from across 30 countries, helping companies achieve their goal of becoming game developers. The firm is famous and respected among gamers as one of the best developers of AAA multiplayer video games.

Since its launch in 2018, the company has provided gaming infrastructure to some of the world’s best game studios and publishers, including Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, Zenimax, Epic, and 2K. Aside from offering key solutions to game studios, MPG has also carved a niche in other technological areas, including data science and artificial intelligence.

Expanding Multiplayer Innovation with Keywords Studios

With MPG leaving Improbable for its new home, Keywords, the company hopes to continue leading multiplayer innovation.

“We have seen strong growth over the past few years, working on some of the most complex and successful games in the market, supported by our dedication to a sustainable, people-first culture. With Keywords, we believe we can continue to lead and grow multiplayer innovation, bringing the MPG ethos to more customers and games,” said Andy Norman, CEO of MPG.

Keywords disclosed that acquiring MPG aligns with its expansion strategy to enhance its business offerings. The $97 million acquisition was primarily financed through cash and its existing revolving credit facility. With this investment, the company targets achieving double-digit revenue growth next year. Keywords anticipates the transaction to contribute positively to its earnings per share in the first full year post-acquisition.

The company has been on a shopping spree lately, acquiring new firms to expand its business. According to CNBC, Keywords has invested a total of £91.9 million ($100 million) in new takeovers.

Keywords CEO believes that the latest acquisition of MPG will help build out the company and extend its product offerings to encompass specialized multiplayer game development at scale, which is increasingly in demand for live services.

The company also believes that MPG is well-suited for its existing Create studio in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world.

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