Chicken Meat Supplier Buys Another Game Developer

The developer behind some Gears of War and Batman projects is now owned by a Chinese poultry company.


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London-based game developer Splash Damage, which is perhaps best known for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and Wolfenstein games, has been acquired by a Chinese company. No, not Tencent. Chicken meat products supplier Leyou has bought Splash Damage.

A statement from Leyou (via Eurogamer) explains that a "consideration" (a combination of shares and options), will be no more than $150 million. Leyou also acquires Splash Damage's Fireteam online service as part of the buyout, according to the terms of the agreement.

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Leyou said it's hoping to diversify its business as a result of its poultry efforts facing an "arduous task" in light of expenses related to feed-production and slaughtering, among other things. The video game market is growing, on the other hand, and this is why Leyou wants to get in.

"The global market for video games industry continued to experience healthy growth despite a slowing world economy," it said.

This is actually Leyou's second video game deal. In 2014, Leyou--known then as Sumpo--bought a controlling interest in Canadian developer Digital Extremes (Warframe).

Entering the video game mark helps Leyou mitigate the "volatile and cyclical nature of the poultry business," it said, while also increasing profitability. For the year ended December 31, 2015, 80 percent of Leyou's revenue came from its chicken business, but 70 percent of its gross profit was generated by its video game unit.

Some of Splash Damage's other projects have included Brink, Dirty Bomb, and Gears of War Ultimate Edition. The developer also made the multiplayer modes for Batman: Arkham Origins and the upcoming Gears of War 4. The studio was founded in 2001.

We have contacted Splash Damage to get more details on the acquisition and what it might mean for the future of the company. We'll report back with anything we hear.

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