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Game development outsourcing Keywords Studios has acquired Studio Gobo and Electric Square as part of its plan to offer worldwide development services for game publishers. The deals substantially expand the company’s presence in the United Kingdom.

Gobo provides game development services to video game developers and publishers around the world from its Studio Gobo and Electric Square studios based across three studio locations in Brighton and Hove.

Founded in 2011 by game industry veterans, Gobo employs 170 software engineers, artists, animators, game designers, quality assurance testers, and producers. Gobo works with game developers and publishers in a number of different ways on full game development, co-development, live operations, and porting services.

Over the years, Gobo has worked on top games franchises such as Disney Infinity, Ubisoft’s For Honor, and Microsoft’s newest racing game, Miami Street.

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Gobo increases Keywords’ access to the U.K.’s talent pool of video games developers: It brings Keywords’ total British game development team to 220, adding to the existing 50-strong team at d3t while also expanding the worldwide game development team, which includes Snowed In, Sperasoft, and GameSim, by over a third to 610 people.

Above: Keywords started as a localization company for games.

Image Credit: Keywords

“We are delighted to welcome Studio Gobo and Electric Square to the Keywords family,” said Keywords CEO Andrew Day in a statement. “By significantly enhancing our game development services in both scale and expertise, these studios together with recently acquired Snowed In, Sperasoft, d3t and GameSim help position Keywords as a go to game development partner and give us ever greater visibility of games in the pipeline, at the outset of their development.”

I interviewed Andrew Day at the recent Game Developers Conference in March, where he said, “What Keywords is today isn’t what Keywords was. We started as a localization company, actually, localizing business software. Then, as games started to be localized, we found a niche for our services where we could marry the highly creative, immersive localization of storytelling in games with a more tool-based localization that’s used in business software. We created a bit of a niche of ourselves.”

In a statement, Gobo CEO Tony Beckwith said, “We are excited about joining the Keywords Studios family. As we look to build upon our strong foundations, Keywords leading position in the video games industry, its breadth of services and its geographical reach will provide us with a strong and broader platform from which to deliver our ambitious growth plans. We also look forward to working collaboratively with other members of the Group in offering wider capabilities to all our clients.”

Keywords Studios acquired 11 game development services companies in 2017 alone. It has amassed more than 5,000 employees.

Keywords Studios was founded as a game localization company in 1998 in London, and it went public in 2013. It now has over 40 facilities in 20 countries and four continents. The company provides just about any service for games, including art, engineering, audio, localization, player support, and game testing.

The biggest game companies use Keywords to launch their games in multiple languages on the same day across the globe. It tests those games to make sure that they work properly across platforms and regions. In November 2017, it acquired Seattle-based VMC Consulting, which was the biggest North American company testing video games.

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