July 20, 2024

Keywords acquires Improbable’s Multiplayer Group studio

Support developer Keywords Studios has acquired The Multiplayer Group, a subsidiary of cloud tech studio Improbable.

Per Keywords CEO Bertand Bodson, the £76.5 million acquisition will allow it to expand its multiplayer services, particularly “increasing in demand” live-service games. 

Improbable first bought MPG in 2019. The studio provides “specialized solutions” for multiplayer games, helping developers with backend architecture, peer-to-peer networking, operations, and other services.

Its list of clients includes Blizzard, EA, and 2K Games. And in recent years, MPG has done service work on online games like Mortal Kombat 1, Starfield, and Fall Guys.

“We look forward to working with [CEO Andy Norman] and the wider talented MPG team over the coming years to continue to drive growth in the business,” wrote Bodson.

MPG’s management will all survive the ownership transition, Norman included. Of this new acquisition, he said it will allow his company to “drive growth both in MPG and across the enlarged Keywords’ group.”

Keywords had an eventful 2023

Keywords has been on an acquisition spree in recent years, with the newest being Hardsuit Labs this past May. Other studios include LabCom, Helpshift, and Forgotten Empires.

At the same time, Improbable has gradually sold off its subsidiary developers to interested parties. Those studios include Scavengers creator Midwinter and Inflexion, makers of the upcoming Nightingale.

Outside of the acquisitions, Keywords has become embroiled in layoffs to its unionized members following the end of its contract with BioWare. The studio did support work on the upcoming Dragon Age: Dreadwolf.

A month later, the formerly unionized Keywords workers held a picket strike outside of BioWare Edmonton’s office. EA and BioWare unsuccessfully tried to stop it, on the grounds that it was a matter between Keywords and its ex-staff.

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