Belfast Telegraph

Japanese acquisition helps games firm expand

By Ellie Donnelly

Irish video game company Keywords Studios has acquired Japanese group Wizcorp for JPY120m (£800,000).

Wizcorp, which is owned by Ankama, develops games on behalf of others, mainly in the mobile space, with particular expertise in HTML5 and other mobile technologies.

Joe Quinn, analyst at Davy Stockbrokers, said it was a "strong" deal for Keywords, which is based in Dublin and led by Andrew Day.

"Keywords management has highlighted its focus on increased acquisitions within engineering and this acquisition does just that," he said.

Wizcorp employs 35 people and has annual revenues of JPY310m (£2.1m).

The Tokyo-based group has yet to turn a profit, however, the acquisition is in keeping with Keywords' plans to increase its engineering arm, providing it with a platform for expansion in Japan's games development market.

Christopher Kennedy, regional managing director Asia of Keywords Studios, said: "We are thrilled to welcome the Wizcorp team to join our fast-growing operations in Tokyo where we already employ 300 people.

"Keywords is excited at the opportunities Wizcorp will bring the group and its clients in the Japanese market as it becomes the latest member of our global engineering service line."

Wizcorp was established in 2008 and has provided game development as a service to a wide variety of Japanese publishers and developers such as LINE, Square Enix, Avex and Yahoo Japan.

It has also undertaken game development for parent Ankama.

Belfast Telegraph