Keywords Studios continues its expansion with the acquisition of Hardsuit Labs. The US studio will join the group and strengthen its co-development capabilities.

Keywords Studios acquires US studio Hardsuit Labs for an undisclosed sum

What happened?

  • Keywords Studios announced the acquisition on its official website. The sum of the deal and other financial terms remain undisclosed.
  • Hardsuit Labs founders Andy Kipling and Russell Nelson will continue to lead the business and manage the studio’s 70-person team.
  • “The business is a great fit for our Create service line and strengthens our existing offering for some of the strongest intellectual properties in digital entertainment,” Keywords CEO Bertrand Bodson said in a statement.
  • The Hardsuit Labs team will expand the company’s capabilities in offering game development and porting services to its clients.
  • Founded in 1998, Keywords Studios has made dozens of M&A deals over the last several years, including acquisitions of Smoking Gun Interactive, Forgotten Empire, Climax Studios, and Mighty Games.

Who are Hardsuit Labs?

  • The studio was founded in 2015 and is based in Seattle, Washington. It is best known for providing various outsourcing and porting services to game developers across the globe.
  • Hardsuit Labs’ portfolio includes titles like Call of Duty: Warzone, Chivalry II, Gears of War 4, and Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time.
  • In 2018, Paradox Interactive acquired a 33% stake in the studio for $2 million at a $6 million valuation.
  • Hardsuit Labs also managed to pitch a Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines sequel to the Swedish publisher and even got help from the original game’s writer Brian Mitsoda.
  • However, the development turned out to be quite a mess, with Mitsoda leaving the team in 2020 along with two other key developers.
  • In 2021, Paradox Interactive dropped Hardsuit Labs as the developer of Bloodlines 2, which resulted in the studio laying off its entire narrative team.

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