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Ubisoft invests in free-to-play, acquiring  Anno  developer

Ubisoft invests in free-to-play, acquiring Anno developer

April 11, 2013 | By Kris Graft

Ubisoft is now full owner of one of Germany's best game developers.

The French publisher today said it acquired the remaining stake in German studio Related Designs, the company behind the well-regarded Anno series of PC strategy games, including Anno 1404 and Anno 2070 (pictured).

While Related Designs is best know for its PC strategy games, the buy shows Ubisoft's willingness to invest in the free-to-play online game sector. Related Designs' 65-person staff will continue development of the free-to-play browser MMO Might & Magic Heroes Online, and will also work on future titles with Blue Byte, the Ubisoft-owned studio that works on the Settlers franchise.

Ubisoft already had a 30 percent stake in Related Designs, and this most recent transaction was for the remaining 70 percent. Ubisoft did not disclose the purchase amount.

Blue Byte managing director Odile Limpach said she hopes Might & Magic Heroes Online will "become a leading free-to-play title for Ubisoft."

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