Keywords Studios PLC – Acquisition

Keywords Studios PLC – Acquisition

Keywords Studios, the international technical services provider to the global video games industry, today announces that it has acquired the entire issued share capital of Wizcorp Inc. for a cash consideration of JPY 120m from Ankama SAS and Silicon Studio Corporation.

Based in Tokyo, Japan, 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. With annual revenues of JPY 310m, it is well established in the fast-paced Japanese mobile development market. The acquisition extends Keywords’ Engineering Service line by providing a platform for expansion in Japan’s games development market, one of the largest in the world.  Whilst the business has not been a profit centre under its existing ownership structure, we would expect it to be able to achieve margins at similar levels to Keywords’ existing Engineering Service line once we align it with our existing operations and build up its scale.

Christopher Kennedy, Regional Managing Director – Asia of Keywords Studios commented: 

“We are thrilled to welcome Guillaume and the Wizcorp team to join our fast-growing operations in Tokyo where we already employ 300 people. 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.”

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