Representatives of Ubisoft have announced that the publisher has acquired German developer SunFlowers (ParaWorld), giving the publisher control of its top-selling Anno franchise of historical real time strategy games.
The Anno series, the most recent of which was Anno 1701, is a long-running and highly successful franchise of PC strategy games, especially in Europe, selling over 5 million units worldwide. Anno 1701 has also been called "one of the most expensive productions from Germany", costing 8 million Euros to develop.
As part of the agreement, Ubisoft has also acquired a 30 percent stake in Related Designs, developer of Anno 1701 and currently at work at a new game in the Anno series. Frankfurt's Keen Games is also working on a Nintendo DS version of 1701, due for release this summer.
The actual acquisition will be closed in Ubisoft's fiscal 2007 first quarter. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by either party.
Said Ubisoft CEO Ybes Guillemot, "With the acquisition of Anno, Ubisoft reinforces its position in the real-time strategy market. Anno, along with Ubisoft's The Settlers, is one of the most well known franchises in Germany, reaching a wide audience that includes not only traditional gamers, but also women and families. We are proud to add another top-quality brand to our rich portfolio and we are looking forward to bringing the brand to an even wider audience."