Microsoft today announced the acquisition on unspecified terms of game development company BigPark:
Microsoft Corp. today announced its intent to acquire BigPark Inc., an interactive online gaming company based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The acquisition will bring BigPark’s talented developers into Microsoft Game Studios, where the team will continue development on an exclusive Xbox 360 game. Over the past year, Microsoft and BigPark have worked closely on this project, providing Microsoft with a clear view into the caliber of talent and innovation at BigPark.
Actually, the relationship was even closer than that:
BigPark was founded by Wil Mozell, Erik Kiss, Hanno Lemke and Don Mattrick before Mattrick assumed the role of senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. Mattrick’s role as an investor in BigPark was fully disclosed to Microsoft before he joined the company, and his ongoing involvement as chairman of BigPark was approved pursuant to the Microsoft Standards of Business Conduct.
This investment is interesting in view of the way Microsoft has been pruning game developers in recent years including the demise of the Flight Simulator studio in January with the first round of layoffs this year.