Activision adopts Budcat Creations

Iowa-based developer of NY Times Crosswords, Blast Works, and PS2 ports of recent Guitar Hero titles acquired to continue work on rhythm franchise, Nintendo systems.

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Activision Blizzard was already the world's largest third-party publisher of games, but the company got just a little bit bigger. Activision Publishing today announced that it has acquired Iowa City, Iowa-based Budcat Creations for an undisclosed sum.

The studio already has a working relationship with the publisher, having developed the PlayStation 2 ports of recent Guitar Hero games, including World Tour, Legends of Rock, and the recent Aerosmith-dedicated spin-off. Beyond that, the developer has earned acclaim for ports of Madden NFL 2002 and Psychonauts, as well as original titles like New York Times Crosswords on the DS and Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy on the Wii.

"In addition to strengthening our development capabilities on the Nintendo platforms, this acquisition increases our Guitar Hero development resources as we continue to grow the franchise and expand our global leadership position in the music-based genre," Activision president Mike Griffith said in a statement.

As part of the deal, Budcat's management team signed multiyear contracts with Activision. In addition, the studio--which has moved twice since its founding in 2000, most recently from Las Vegas, Nevada--will remain located in Iowa City.

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