Video-game maker Amaze scores buyer
Kirkland video-game developer Amaze Entertainment is being sold to Foundation 9 Entertainment, an independent game maker in Newport Beach...
Seattle Times technology reporter
Kirkland video-game developer Amaze Entertainment is being sold to Foundation 9 Entertainment, an independent game maker in Newport Beach, Calif.
The price of the acquisition was not announced, but Foundation 9 said its owner, private-equity firm Francisco Partners, will provide the funding. The deal cements Foundation 9's status as a video-gaming powerhouse, with 725 employees across 11 studios in the U.S.
Amaze said none of its 285 employees — which include 250 in Kirkland — will be laid off. The Kirkland office will operate as normal and may hire more.
Amaze's founder and chief executive, Dan Elenbaas, will stay on and become a board member of Foundation 9.
Elenbaas said Tuesday that Amaze's philosophy has always been smaller studios can combine to create some of the resources of a large organization, such as business-development opportunities.
This year has seen consolidation within the video-game business, as developers look for ways to survive while producing games that are increasingly expensive and complex.
In January, Sony acquired Redmond-based Zipper Interactive, a studio known for the "Socom" game franchise. Other acquisitions have occurred outside the region.
"There's a need for bigger, stronger developers who can withstand the craziness that's the video-game industry," Elenbaas said.
Amaze has four studios, including three in Kirkland. It has mainly created games for the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP handheld players, but Elenbaas said it will turn its focus to latest-generation consoles such as the Xbox 360 in the future.
Previous titles include several versions of "The Sims" as well as games based on "Harry Potter," "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Chronicles of Narnia."
The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the year.
Kim Peterson: 206-464-2360 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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