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BigPark acquired by Microsoft for game studios division

Thursday, 7th May 2009 21:11 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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Microsoft has announced its to acquire BigPark Inc, a company comprised of industry vets Wil Mozell, Erik Kiss, Hanno Lemke and Don Mattrick who created or had large roles in both Distinctive Software and EA Canada.

BigPark’s founding team has over 80 years of collective experience in the game industry, having produced or overseen titles Need for Speed, FIFA Soccer, Skate, NHL Hockey, NBA Street, and SSX.

The acquisition will meld the developers into Microsoft Game Studios, where the team will continue development on its exclusive Xbox 360 game.

“We are delighted by the opportunity to welcome the BigPark team into Microsoft Game Studios,” said Microsoft Games GM Phil Spencer.

“The team is composed of some of the most experienced and creative minds working in the industry today. The combination of the BigPark and Microsoft Game Studios talent pools will be an accelerant for growth and innovation. We believe BigPark has tremendous potential to create new properties and innovative gaming experiences for our platforms, one of which we’re looking forward to showcasing at the E3 Expo in June.”

Full thing below.

Interactive games company will join Microsoft Game Studios.

REDMOND, Wash., May 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Microsoft Corp. today announced its intent to acquire BigPark Inc., an interactive online gaming company based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

BigPark was founded in 2007 by a group of industry veterans who led the creation and growth of two hugely successful software companies, Distinctive Software Inc. and Electronic Arts Canada. BigPark’s founding team is composed of business leaders with over 80 years of collective experience in the video game industry, having produced or overseen blockbuster franchises including “Need for Speed,” “FIFA Soccer,” “NBA Street” and “SSX.”

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.

“We are delighted by the opportunity to welcome the BigPark team into Microsoft Game Studios,” said Phil Spencer, general manager, Microsoft Game Studios. “The team is composed of some of the most experienced and creative minds working in the industry today. The combination of the BigPark and Microsoft Game Studios talent pools will be an accelerant for growth and innovation. We believe BigPark has tremendous potential to create new properties and innovative gaming experiences for our platforms, one of which we’re looking forward to showcasing at the E3 Expo in June.”

BigPark CEO and co-founder Hanno Lemke, who will report to Spencer post-acquisition, formerly served in executive and development positions with Electronic Arts and Distinctive Software Inc., where he produced or oversaw hit games such as “NHL Hockey,” “Need for Speed” and “Skate.”

“Given our shared passion for breaking new ground in the online space and producing best-in-class gaming experiences, our partnership with Microsoft over the last year has been a natural fit, which we’ve thoroughly enjoyed,” Lemke said.

“This opportunity provides us with access to the unparalleled talent, resources and exciting innovation taking place within Microsoft,” said Wil Mozell, studio president and co-founder of BigPark. “We’re looking forward to being part of the Microsoft Game Studios team, where we believe we can successfully contribute to shaping key Microsoft initiatives through fresh and engaging consumer experiences.”

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.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is a premier video game and entertainment system. It is home to the best and broadest games plus more standard and high-definition movies and TV shows on demand than any other device connected to the TV. The digital center of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content, including personal pictures and music, with a unified online social network to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About Xbox LIVE

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About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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10 Comments

  1. Goliath

    New exclusive IP at E3. Hmmm . . . I wonder what it could be; what genre it could be?!

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Psychotext

    Casual… like everything else.

    /facepalm

    #2 6 years ago
  3. deftangel

    At least they are adding to their first party portfolio. It’s only just looking slightly more than anemic even now.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Psychotext

    This is one of their games: http://www.wizarddefense.com/

    #4 6 years ago
  5. fearmonkey

    Don Mattrick is a senior VP for MS, how is he also working for this company as well?

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Psychotext

    A lot of the bigwigs have their fingers in multiple pies (umm… companies). In this case though, he helped found BigPark before he went to MS.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. No_PUDding

    So… They aren’t even talking 3D stuff?

    #7 6 years ago
  8. Psychotext

    We’ll know in ~4 weeks.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Goliath

    @ Psychotext

    Well, I played the game. It was . . . interesting. I’ll really like to see what they unveil at E3.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. Blerk

    Seems weird that they’d start buying people now that they’ve gotten rid of pretty much everyone they already had.

    #10 6 years ago

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