It's a double dip of acquisition news today. Following the announcement that EA is acquiring PopCap, Ubisoft has come up with an announcement of its own: it is acquiring the free-to-play specialist Owlient.
Owlient's premier product is Howrse, and online brand with nearly two million monthly active users. The acquisition brings another 40 people into the Ubisoft fold.
This is yet more proof that all the major publishers are looking to these new, digital models as sustainable business practices. With current king of the hill, Zynga, about to become a listed company, this is a market that everyone is now taking seriously, and will continue to be a major impact on the way the entire industry works for some time to come.
Other recent Ubisoft acquisitions include Massive Entertainment in 2008, a multiplayer specialist currently working on unannounced projects; Nadeo in 2009, creator of the TrackMania franchise; and Quazal in 2010, who were responsible for the online component to Assassin's Creed.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in Ubisoft's second fiscal quarter of 2011.