World Of WarCraft
creator Blizzard Entertainment, itself owned by Vivendi Universal Games, has announced the acquisition of Southern California-based console firm and current StarCraft Ghost
developer Swingin' Ape Studios.
Under the agreement, Blizzard will retain Swingin' Ape's team of more than 40 developers, as well as acquire the studio's proprietary development technologies. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Steve Ranck, president and co-founder of Swingin' Ape Studios, will assume the title of vice president of console development for Blizzard's new console team and will report directly to Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment.. The Swingin' Ape team will remain in its Southern California office, located within a few miles of Blizzard's Irvine headquarters.
"The acquisition of Swingin' Ape Studios takes us one step closer to realizing our goal of becoming a top-tier console developer," commented Mike Morhaime, "With Swingin' Ape's talented designers, programmers, and artists, we're confident we'll be able to create console games that meet the quality standards we've established for every Blizzard title."
Swingin' Ape was originally founded in 2000 by ex-Midway employees, and worked on the critically lauded but commercially underwhelming Metal Arms: Glitch In The System
for Vivendi Universal before starting on StarCraft: Ghost
, which was originally in development at Nihilistic Software before switching developer
to Swingin' Ape in July 2004.