Splash Damage, the maker of Dirty Bomb and Gears of War 4’s multiplayer, has an unlikely new owner: a Chinese chicken meat supplier called Leyou.
This will be Leyou’s second major video game studio acquisition, having pecked up Warframe developer Digital Extremes partially in 2015, then fully earlier this year. The Leyou-Warframe acquisition was reported in 2014, back when Leyou was called Sumpo Food.
It isn’t clear how much money – golden nuggets? – changed hands; the statement (via allgamesdelta) only mentions that ‘The Consideration’, which is the sum of a few different things, shall not “in any event” exceed $150m.
Leyou sought Splash Damage as a way of further balancing the “harsh operational environment” of chicken meat supplying in China. Apparently it costs quite a lot to maintain.
The statement reads: “The Group continues to face an arduous task in respect of the Poultry Business, where, despite efforts to improve raw materials procurement, feed production, breeder and broiler breeding, broiler slaughtering and process, quality and safety management and sales mix rationalisation and channel expansion, the management of the Group still has limited control of the business results and profitability under the harsh operational environment in the PRC.
“[Meanwhile] the global market for video games industry continued to experience healthy growth despite a slowing world economy.”
Diversifying the business helps mitigate “the volatile and cyclical nature of the Poultry Business”, because you never know when Fantastic Mr Fox will turn up and swipe your hens. Making video games is also more profitable, apparently.
Splash Damage made a name for itself with the Enemy Territory Quake and Wolfenstein games – team-based multiplayer spin-offs of the parent franchises. Splash Damage turned that formula into an original game called Brink in 2011, which reviewed well but failed to catch on.
Splash Damage hasn’t done anything as high profile since, really, plying a trade handling multiplayer portions of bigger games while launching its own free-to-play game Dirty Bomb.
I’ve asked Splash Damage to comment and will let you know if they do. But for now enjoy making some chicken puns.