Keywords Studios acquires US company for up to $10m

Irish video gaming firm is going to Hollywood with latest acquisition

 Keywords  now has up to 5,000 people working across 42 locations in 20 countries.

Keywords now has up to 5,000 people working across 42 locations in 20 countries.


Keywords Studios has acquired US video game production services provider Blindlight for up to $10 million (€8.5 million) in a deal that will increase the value of the services provided by the Irish video gaming company.

Founded in 2001, California based Blindlight works on behalf of game publishers and developers in procuring specialised talent and managing the entire production processes for the parts of games that benefit from Hollywood production resources. Blindlight works with top game producers including Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Ubisoft, and its service disciplines include voiceover production, celebrity acquisition and rights management, game writing, music, sound design and motion capture.

Blindlight had earnings (Ebitda) of $1 million a year over the three-year period to December 31st, 2017. Under the terms of the acquisition Keywords is paying an initial $3.64 million in cash and will issue 64,521 new ordinary shares in Keywords to the seller on the first anniversary of the acquisition, which will then be subject to orderly market provisions for a further 12 months. Deferred consideration of up to $4.8 million will be payable to the seller in cash depending on the performance of the business in the 12-month periods to the first and second anniversaries of the acquisition.

Andrew Day, Keywords Studios’ chief executive, said he sees “good opportunities to leverage both businesses” to offer a wider range of services to its clients.

“Following our recent acquisition of music services companies, Cord Worldwide and Laced, we see excellent opportunities for Blindlight to bring these services to Los Angeles, as well as providing access to further opportunities for our downstream production services of translation and localised voiceover.”

In less than a decade, Keywords has grown from being a small studio employing 50 people at a single site in Dublin to one that now has up to 5,000 working across 42 locations in 20 countries. It has also shifted from being a single-service business to one with lines covering integrated art production, engineering, audio services, testing, localisation and player support services across 50 languages and 14 game platforms. Keywords has made more than 27 acquisitions over the past three years.