Monumental buys Fiddy developer Swordfish Studios

By Patrick Garratt
12 November 2008 18:25 GMT


Football Superstars creator and MMO middleware developer Monumental Games has acquired Swordfish Studios, the firm’s announced.

Swordfish was previously owned by Activision, and was put out to tender during the Acti-Blizz merger.

The studio was working on 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand for PS3 and 360 before its recent “turbulence”.

No mention was made of the game in the move’s announcement, which you can read in full after the break.


Nottingham UK – 13th November 2008 – Monumental Games, the UK’s fastest growing developer of middleware technology for Massively Multi-Player Online (MMO) gaming and Virtual Worlds, today announced the acquisition of Swordfish Studios (Manchester) from Activision, part of the Vivendi Universal Group. The Studios comprise a team of 26 experienced developers based in Manchester’s cutting-edge MediaCity:UK. The acquisition takes Monumental’s workforce to more than 100 people and makes it one of the largest, independent, UK-owned development teams.

Commenting on the acquisition, Monumental’s CEO, Rik Alexander, said:
“When this opportunity arose it immediately made sense. The Swordfish team are a perfect fit in terms of culture, expertise and ambition, and there’s no doubt that, from today, Monumental is in an even stronger position to drive the future development of the online gaming market.

“Importantly, the Swordfish team is one of the very few developers worldwide to have fully solved the hugely complex issues involved in running and managing the XLSP (Xbox Live! Server Platform) server environments for online console gaming. This knowledge base will help to consolidate Monumental’s position as the market leading online game developer.”

Monumental Games has more than trebled in size during the last 24 months and is seeing a rapidly increasing take up of both its technology and its MMO gaming IP. The company is the lead contractor to Cybersports Limited in its development of “Football Superstars”, a new MMO concept that launches in the UK next month, and has development contracts with several other international console and online gaming publishers.

Take up of the “Monumental Technology Suite” (MTS), the company’s core middleware product, has accelerated almost exponentially during 2008. Today some 50 licensees are actively developing new applications and concepts for launch in the UK and internationally.

“We have long been convinced that MTS offers a far more cost and time effective solution for bringing MMO games to market and for developing Virtual World’s for commercial applications. The robustness of the technology, coupled with its ease of use, means that it’s ideal both as a development platform and for full commercial application,” said Rik Alexander. “Acquiring the Swordfish business in Manchester gives us the capacity to invest ahead of the curve and to maintain our growth profile throughout next year.”

Swordfish Studio Head, Mike Delves, joins the Monumental management team to head up the business that will now be known as Monumental Manchester. Commenting on his team’s acquisition, Mike said: “The Manchester team have already been getting to know their counterparts from Nottingham and we’re really excited about working together and all the new opportunities this represents. Monumental have clearly been the ones to watch for a while now, and we’re glad to be playing a crucial part in a new phase of growth.”

Monumental’s head office and principal UK studio is based in Nottingham. The company has just taken a lease on 10,000 sq ft of space in the City’s creative quarter and is currently investing a six figure sum in equipping the premises ahead of a November move. In addition to the newly acquired Swordfish Studio, Monumental has recently established a development studio in Pune, India.

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