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Amid Restructuring, Sega Buys BioShock, Mass Effect Co-Developer Demiurge

Sega Networks acquires Boston-based studio and makes major investments in two other Western outfits.


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As Sonic and Total War publisher Sega transitions away from console games and toward PC and mobile titles, the company on Thursday confirmed investments in three Western developers, the most notable of which is Boston-based firm Demiurge Studios.

Demiurge--which has been bought outright by Sega Networks--has worked with a number of big-name partners, including Harmonix, Gearbox, Irrational, and BioWare. The studio contributed to multiple Rock Band track packs, built the PC edition of Mass Effect, assisted with art design on the original BioShock, and worked on the ultimately canceled Wii U version of Aliens: Colonial Marines.

The studio's most recent release was mobile game Marvel Puzzle Quest, which it continues to support. Demiurge CEO Albert Reed will join Sega Networks as its VP of product management while retaining his title and role at Demiurge.

Writing on its own website, Demiurge--which had been for 13 years an independent company--explained that its sale to Sega won't lead to major changes for the studio.

"Through some miraculous happenstance of fate, we've founded a partner that likes us just the way we are--warts and all," the developer wrote. The studio will continue its work on Marvel Puzzle Quest, stay in its office, and won't change names as a result of the buyout.

Demiurge also explained that the company's long-term goal was to "build a publishing organization," and becoming a part of Sega--tapping into its knowledgebase of free-to-play games domestically and abroad--allows the studio to do that.

"It almost feels unfair to get to have this group working alongside us," Demiurge explained.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Demiurge becomes the third wholly owned Sega Networks studio, joining Three Rings and Hardlight. Check out the video below to learn more about Demiurge.

In addition to Demiurge, Sega snapped up a majority share in San Francisco-based gaming startup Ignited Artists, which is currently prototyping its first game. On top of that, the publisher has made a "strategic investment" in UK-based game company Space Ape Games.

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