Epic Games has announced the acquisition of Chair Entertainment, the developer behind recent Unreal Engine powered Xbox Live Arcade game Undertow
, as well as a forthcoming cross-media project created in partnership with author Orson Scott Card.
Epic says Chair has become a wholly owned subsidiary and will "continue to operate under the same name while maintaining its focus on creating new original game properties which utilize Epic's Unreal Engine technology."
Chair was founded in 2005 by directors Donald and Geremy Mustard and CEO Ryan Holmes. The Mustards were previously behind Xbox and PC project Advent Rising
, the planned trilogy published by Majesco, previously to its re-focus on casual properties.
The company has been developing its 'Empire' project since 2006, first as an in-house written story, which was developed into a novel by Card, and was optioned by Warner Bros., with Die Hard and Matrix producer Joel Silver currently attached to the project.
Gamasutra talked with
Donald Mustard in July of 2007, who revealed that plans were still underway to create a comic book around Empire, with similar plans for a video game also under development, presumably now with the help of Epic and the Unreal Engine.
Said Epic VP Mark Rein, "Chair's stylized approach to creating games is further enhanced by their ability to stretch our technology in new directions that not only help in creating amazing gaming experiences but also demonstrate the power and versatility of the Unreal Engine. We are thrilled to bring the Chair team into the Epic family, and look forward to working with them to create original new games that continue to innovate and inspire."