Babel Media Ltd., a games testing company based in Brighton, has been acquired by Irish firm Keywords Studios Plc for $8.8 million from Quatrro Global Services Pvt Ltd. and DE Shaw Group. The company, which is one of the most well known in the video games service industry, specializes in localisation testing, functional testing and the translation of video games.
Video games services are becoming an important part of the interactive entertainment industry in Ireland. Alongside customer support and other in house service departments, third party service providers are becoming an important part of the industry as studios try to cut down on costs. Babel Media and Keywords Studios are both part of that nexus of support.
The deal to acquire Babel will see Keywords pay the smaller company’s debt and issue stock worth around $3.66 million to Babel shareholders. The companies that owned Babel prior to this deal, Quatrro Global Services Pvt Ltd and DE Shaw Group, acquired the company in 2008.
Keywords concentrates on games localization and quality control. The company has weak spots that are bolstered by the strengths in Babylon. The acquisition will add operations in key areas like India, increasing the reach of the Dublin-based firm.
According to a statement from CEO Andrew Day, “The acquisition of Babel brings together two of the leading video games testing and localisation providers, firmly establishing Keywords as the market leader in its field, with operations across Dublin, Rome, Montreal, Seattle, Tokyo and now in New Delhi.”
Games services is an area that many don’t consider when thinking about the video games industry in Ireland, but the sector is growing. Publishers are looking to outsource more and more tasks as they seek to only pay staff when they need to. The industry is rendered fluid by the addition of third parties for localization and other non-core work.