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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

August 3, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Now it’s a trend: Another game studio snapped up

Another Seattle area game studio has been acquired — the third over the last month — so I guess we now have a trend.

Griptonite, a Kirkland-based studio with about 170 employees, was sold to San Francisco-based GluMobile in deal worth about $28 million.

Glu Mobile disclosed the deal with its earnings report Tuesday. It’s trading 6.1 million shares for the studio.

This came the same day that Sony announced it was acquiring Bellevue’s Sucker Punch Productions and three weeks after Seattle’s PopCap Games was sold to Electronic Arts.

So who’s next – Valve or Big Fish?

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Griptonite is a major producer of licensed games tied to media franchises such as Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Spider-Man and The Sims. It’s released more than 70 games for the Xbox 360, Wii, DS, PSP, iPhone and other platforms.

Recent titles include “Captain America: Super Solder” for the DS and “Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters” for the Wii, DS and 3DS.

The company was started in 2000 and last year expanded with a satellite studio in Hyderabad, India.

Now Griptonite’s in the process of shifting to freemium and social games, the first of which will be released in the second quarter of 2012. Glu’s release said the studio has $10 million in capital to finance the shift.

Griptonite, which has 10 different project teams, roughly doubles the studio capacity of GluMobile. As part of the deal, 17 key employees are locked up with non-compete agreements.

Glu also announced that it bought Toronto-based Blammo Games for 1 million shares, plus up to 3.3 million more shares if performance targets are met.

Comments | More in | Topics: glu mobile, griptonite games, video games

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