The Keywords Studios group of companies has purchased three companies. The deals will bring the Group another step closer to becoming the ‘go to’ technical and creative services platform for the global video games industry. The purchases cost Keywords $12.1 million.
The Group will now include Kantan, Ichi, and Syllabes. All three own assets and technologies related to the gaming industry. For each purchase, Keywords will pay part of the amount in cash and another part in shares after a certain time.
Who are these guys?
Kantan is a machine learning software developer for language translation. Its products include KantanMT, machine translation platform, as well as the KantanSkynet platform for crowdsourcing translation. Among its customers are the European Commission and eBay. The technology is licensed for game publishers too. The company has nine employees and is located in Dublin.
Keywords plans for Kantan to deliver fully integrated localization services to leading game publishers and developers.
- For Kantan, the group will pay $7.7 million. $3.9 million will go to Kantan founder Tony O’Dowd and investors. O’Dowd will receive another $3.2 million (in shares and cash) if Kantan reaches its targets three years after the deal. Also Keywords will issue 38.6 thousand shares for sale.
Brand marketing company Ichi works with gaming publishers. It develops marketing campaigns, creates trailers, advertising materials and other content. All this is done by 13 people in a London office. The purchase will allow Ichi Keywords to expand its range of marketing services.
Ichi’s customers include major publishers such as Square Enix and Deep Silver. Separately, Ichi works in sports and entertainment (with Puma and Netflix). Its annual revenue exceeds $3.8 million.
- Keywords will pay $4.1 million for the company. The initial payment amount is $2.9 million, the seller will receive the rest in shares. Under the terms of the deal, Liz Corless will remain the head of Ichi.
The last company purchased is Syllabes, a casting and recording company. Its annual revenue of $531 sustains the staff of five employees. Syllabes provides sound recording services in French and English, as well as sound design and dubbing training for gaming companies.
- The price of the deal is $360 thousand, of which $246 thousand Keywords will pay immediately. The remainder is a deferred cost (provided that Syllabes reaches its annual targets).
Keywords Studios itself owns a recording studio in Montreal. Buying Syllabes will allow her to expand this part of her business.
Keywords Studios was founded in Ireland, but is now located in London. In recent years, it bought up dozens of companies (including gaming ones). Its latest acquisitions include Studio Gobo .