Video game company acquisitions are all the rage right now. It seems like every week (if not more often than that), a company is swallowed up by a larger one. This isn’t always so great, as evidenced by Embracer Group acquiring a lot of studios, then laying off a big chunk of those people. To read more about these cuts, I definitely recommend reading Matt’s latest opinion piece about game executives ruining the lives of developers. So with this in mind, I don’t actually know what to think about the news that Annapurna Interactive has acquired its first games studio, South Africa-based 24 Bit Games.
24 Bit Games and Annapurna Interactive have worked together before, with collaborations including Cocoon (a puzzle adventure game shown off at Annapurna’s Interactive Showcase 2023; it is available now), Hindsight, Neon White, and Maquette. And Annapurna Interactive certainly has a solid portfolio of published games, including recently-released Thirsty Suitors, Stray, and Outer Wilds (recently announced to be coming to Nintendo Switch on December 7 withs its Archaeologist Edition). So both companies do have a lot of experience coming into this acquisition.
Still… Annapurna Interactive hasn’t acquired a developer before, so only time will tell what happens. A press release regarding the acquisition states that Annapurna Interactive wants to help 24 Bit Games grow its development team and proprietary technology toolkits. Annapurna Interactive also intends to keep all of 24 Bit Games’ current employees and leadership, operating as usual but now under the Annapurna Interactive umbrella. Both companies are committed to 24 Bit Games’ ongoing support of the South African games development community.
“Annapurna has been working with 24 Bit for many years, and we value not only the caliber of their work, but their team as well,” said Deborah Mars, Co-Head of Annapurna Interactive, in the aforementioned press release. “They’ve always shared our commitment to quality, and by taking our partnership to the next level we feel like anything is possible.”
The respect definitely seems mutual based on what the CEO of 24 Bit Games has to say. “We deeply respect Annapurna’s approach to curating a portfolio of great games, its value system around building and extending IP, as well as the company culture,” said Luke Lamothe. “We have truly enjoyed working together over the years, and we believe we are joining Annapurna at an exciting moment of growth and expansion.”