Swordfish Studios, the Birmingham-based games development house, has been returned to Midland ownership following a takeover by local gaming giant Codemasters.
Leamington Spa-based Codemasters acquired the firm from American games company Activision Vivendi for an undisclosed sum.
The deal builds on the firms’ already strong working relationship which saw Swordfish and Codemasters collaborate on the Brian Lara endorsed cricket game in 2005.
Former Swordfish managing director Trevor Williams, who will continue to head up the studio under Codemasters’ ownership, said he was pleased the firm was back in Midland hands.
He said: “It’s exciting - they are a local company and they make great games.
“We’re a natural fit because we have worked together in the past, such as on the Brian Lara cricket game.”
“Before, we were owned by an American company so it’s nice to be back home again.”
Codemasters said the studios would continue to operate from its Birmingham headquarters on Hagley Road and there were no plans for any job cuts among its 80-strong staff.
As part of the deal, Swordfish Studios’ development team will be integrated and managed as part of Codemasters’ network of studios.
Carrying the Codemasters Studios imprint, the studio will create original content using the Codemasters EGO Engine, the technology behind racing games such as Colin McRae: DiRT and Race Driver: GRID
Codemaster Studios vice-president Gavin Cheshire said: “We are committed to growing our studio operations across multiple facilities and increasing the internal capability of Codemasters’ creative resource. There is a strong heritage and a compatible skill set which has enabled us to fast-track growth plans. Codemasters has ramped up as a UK games development powerhouse with a scalable support infrastructure that allows for rapid deployment of the highly versatile EGO Engine.”
The Birmingham studio becomes Codemasters’ fourth major development hub and joins established operations Codemasters Studios Guildford, Codemasters Studios Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Codemasters’ corporate headquarters in Warwickshire.
Swordfish Studios was originally founded in 1994 as part of the Rage Group by Trevor Williams along with his colleague Andy Williams.
Trevor led a management buyout of the studios in 2002 and the firm remained independent for three years before it was acquired by Activision Vivendi in 2005.
Swordfish Studios has earned several awards for game development including “Developer of the Year” for 2004 by The Independent Game Developers Association.