Microsoft announced yesterday that it is acquiring Vancouver video game developer BigPark. The stealthy BigPark (thanks in part to its odd UBC location) was created by Electronic Arts alumni Erik Kiss, Hanno Lemke, and Wil Mozell in 2007. Kiss and Lemke go back as far as the Distinctive Software days which was founded in 1982 by Don Mattrick and Jeff Sember.
The writing has been on the wall for this deal fro awhile. Mattrick became BigPark’s chairman prior to becoming a Senior VP at Microsoft in charge of the interactive entertainment business. It was just a matter of time before he brought his BigPark partners into the Microsoft fold.
In an interview with the Georgia Straight’s Blain Kyllo late last year, Lemke talked about what it was like to run Black Box for EA, and how it was important to keep the independent studio vibe despite the fact that it was part of a 1,200-employee company.
Should be interesting to see how he makes out at Microsoft. At a minimum, the deal gives BigPark access to distribution, technology, and capital that will better enable the boutique developer to create some great games.