After a turbulent month, Redmond’s Gas Powered Games announced today that it was acquired by California game publisher Wargaming, which will continue to run the studio in the Seattle area.
In a hail mary effort, Gas Powered last month attempted to fund its next game by raising $1.1 million via Kickstarter but abandoned the effort after less than half the amount was raised. In mid January the company also laid off about 40 people, a deep reduction in staffing at a company that employed 55 when developing its last major release in 2010.
Gas Powered was started in 1998 by industry veteran Chris Taylor and found early success building games for the PC. Its biggest hits were the “Dungeon Siege” role-playing game published by Microsoft and the ”Supreme Commander” franchise. It continued to pursue the strategy niche as PC gamers were lured away by consoles and cheap to free online games, including the massively-multiplayer online games that are a specialty of Wargaming.
Emeryville, Calif.-based Wargaming was also founded in 1998 and has broken out with military themed online games that are free to play, but encourage players to pay for upgrades. It reports that its flagship “World of Tanks” game has 50 million players globally, and it’s gearing up to release “World of Warships” later this year.
“Gas Powered Games’ heritage and development pedigree shows us just how valuable an addition Chris and his company will make to the Wargaming family,” Wargaming Chief Executive Victor Kislyi said in a release. “Gas Powered Games has a long track record of providing incredibly engaging AAA gaming experiences and we can’t wait to start working with them.”