Major game publisher Activision Inc. has acquired Quebec-based developer Beenox Inc., the studio behind such Activision titles as Shrek 2, Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 and the upcoming Fantastic Four. Activision says the acquisition further bolsters its internal development capabilities by giving it a foothold in one of the fastest growing development talent pools in North America.
One thing that made Beenox attractive to Activision is its platform conversion technologies that allow for simultaneous multi-platform game development. According to Activision Publishing president Kathy Vrabeck, Beenox will be a key component of the companys console transition strategy by allowing Activision to focus resources on next-generation technologies while continuing to develop games for current-generation systems.
In 2002, the Beenox Shift division was created to breathe new life into hit titles by porting them to additional platforms. Since its founding, the company has delivered more than a dozen AAA title ports and was honored with the prestigious Innovative Enterprise of the Year award at the 2005 edition of the Fideides Awards, organized by the Quebec Business Council.
With the acquisition, Beenox has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision and its management team and key employees have signed long-term employment contracts with the publisher. The studios 32-person team will remain in Quebec under the supervision of president and CEO Dee Brown.
Beenox most recently developed the PC version of Activisions Madagascar: The Game, which is hitting retail now in advance of Fridays release of the DreamWorks Animation feature.
Photo: From left to right: Sylvain Morel, CTO, Pascal Brulotte, 3D Artist and Dee Brown, president and CEO of Beenox.