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Loyalize Acquires  Transformers  Dev Savage Entertainment

Loyalize Acquires Transformers Dev Savage Entertainment

May 17, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

Los Angeles development house Savage Entertainment has been acquired by Loyalize, a company that provides interactive web-based content and marketing built around real-world events and broadcasts.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Loyalize said in a statement it picked up Savage "for its key talent and technical gaming expertise."

"As the line blurs between social software, traditional game technologies, and mainstream media activation, the decade-deep game development expertise at Savage brings us a huge advantage in pioneering the next generation of real time social online experiences," said Loyalize CEO Todd Greene.

Loyalize's line-up of interactive content includes simple games built to engage people attending or watching specific events or TV shows. The platform also provides polls, discussion groups and other social engagement opportunities to users, who can earn points towards real-world rewards for participating.

Savage was formed in 1997 by former Activision employees Tim Morten and Chacko Sonny. The company is known for development of PS2-era games in EA's James Bond series, as well as more recent work on titles for the Star Wars, Medal of Honor and Transformers franchises.

The company has also developed training simulations for the U.S. Defense Department, including the widely acclaimed DARWARS: Ambush.

"We feel like Savage Entertainment has found a great new home with Loyalize," said former CEO Tim Morten, who now works at Electronic Arts. "Loyalize is poised to revolutionize the consumer experience surrounding media, and the real-time nature of the Loyalize platform has great synergy with Savage's core expertise."

[UPDATE: Speaking to Gamasutra, Savage founder and former CEO Tim Morten said the company has faced tough times as the demand for its mid-range contract development started to fall away over the last few years.

"The focus shifted to large-budget marquee titles, and low-budget social/mobile titles, with very little opportunity remaining in between," Morten said. "As a work-for-hire developer, and with the middle of the market effectively disappearing, Savage was faced with the need to reinvent itself."

Savage's team of less than a dozen employees has been working quietly with Loyalize for a few months, Morten said, and "while the respective developments teams eyed each other warily at first, there is great synergy going on now," he reports.

"The technical and creative techniques that we employ as game developers are fairly unique, and there is growing interest in applying these outside of the games industry to drive consumer engagement," he said.

No current game projects will be impacted by the acquisition, as Savage wrapped up its last contracts with Activision and Square Enix last year, Morten said.]

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