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Foundation 9 Acquires Amaze Entertainment

by Rainier on Nov. 14, 2006 @ 4:57 p.m. PST

Indie developer Foundation 9 Entertainment announced that it has acquired Amaze Entertainment and all of its studios, who will now combine with Foundation 9 in a transaction funded by Foundation 9’s current owners, private equity firm Francisco Partners.

The transaction is expected to make Foundation 9 the largest independent game developer in the world. The combined entity will comprise over 725 employees across eleven studios, producing more than 30 SKUs for 2006 with coverage of all the major publishers in the US, Europe and Japan.

“The team at Amaze has done a fantastic job in growing one of the most trusted and best run independent developers, period,” said Jon Goldman, Chairman and CEO of Foundation 9. “Our combined strength in handheld will be unparalleled, which provides excellent balance to our growing roster of 5+ next-gen titles. Together, we’ll offer our publishing partners an unrivalled breadth of resources and capabilities to help them achieve their goals.”

Amaze has developed nearly 100 titles since its founding in 1996, including several versions of "The Sims," and titles based on popular film franchises such as "The Lord of the Rings," "Harry Potter," "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man’s Chest." The company is in active development on console, PC and handheld titles with several, high-profile unannounced projects underway. Additionally, the company is developing the handheld versions of "Eragon," based on the popular young adult novel and upcoming movie. Amaze currently has studios in Kirkland, WA and Austin, TX.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the first rate studios that already make up Foundation 9,” said Amaze CEO Dan Elenbaas. “We’ve experienced tremendous success at Amaze and believe the combined opportunity will be even more exciting for all of our employees and partners.”

Amaze’s studios ­ KnowWonder, Griptonite, Monsoon and Fizz Factor will join Foundation 9’s current studios and brands: The Collective, Backbone Entertainment, Pipeworks, ImaginEngine, Digital Eclipse, and recently announced Shiny Entertainment. The company develops in all genres for all platforms and age groups, and has shipped more than 350 titles, including many bestsellers.

The company is currently at work on more than 20 titles, including a DS version of its original property, "Death, Jr.," to be published by Konami; "Dirty Harry" to be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment; and "Sonic Rivals" to be published by Sega.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006.

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