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Mobile social developer Z2Live buys Big Sandwich

Mobile social developer Z2Live buys Big Sandwich

February 23, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Seattle-based mobile social game company Z2Live (Trade Nations) has acquired Hoard developer Big Sandwich Games, an independent outsourcing and development studio based in Vancouver. Terms for the deal were not disclosed.

"The acquisition represents a key part of our long-term strategy to build, operate, and scale genre-defining games," says Z2Live COO Lou Fasulo. The company has given all of its new members from Big Sandwich's team stock in Z2Live.

The Big Sandwich purchase adds the studio's nine employees to Z2Live's fast-growing operations -- in just the last year, the company has increased its headcount from 16 workers to 80 (not including Big Sandwich's staff). It recently relocated to a new building in Downtown Seattle to accommodate that growth, too.

Z2Live hints that it will also recruit heavily at the new studio, which has been rebranded Z2Live Games Vancouver. The company notes that it can now tap into Vancouver's talent-rich market, which is also home to regional branches for major publishers like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Rockstar Games.

Big Sandwich Games was founded in 2006 by Rockstar Vancouver veterans, and has shipped titles for home consoles, handhelds, and mobile with its cross-platform Clubhouse Engine. It's also co-developed titles like EA's Army of Two: The 40th Day and Slant Six Games' SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation.

Z2Live set up shop in 2009 to build a platform for iOS multiplayer and push notifications, but then changed its focus to developing free-to-play social and multiplayer games for mobile after Apple launched its Game Center service.

Since then, the company has seen more than 25 million users around the world playing its microtransactions-based iOS games, including releases like Battle Nations, Trade Nations, and MetalStorm.

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