Keywords Studios plc Acquires Player Research Ltd
Keywords Studios, the international technical services provider to the global video games industry, today announces that it has acquired Player Research Ltd ("Player Research") for a total consideration of up to £1.3 million from its founder, Graham McAllister, and others (the "Sellers"). Based in Brighton, UK, Player Research provides consulting and user testing from its state of the art play testing laboratory to mobile, console and VR game developers throughout the world, helping them to attract, retain and monetise players.
The acquisition of Player Research is in line with Keywords' strategy to extend its services, with the objective of providing end to end services to its global client base covering all aspects of game production and live operations support. Player Research's technology, methodology and knowhow can be exported to Keywords secure production facilities in locations like Montreal, Dublin, Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing providing much increased capacity, whilst also expanding the services in a way that adapts them to the varied nationalities and cultures allowing clients to better tailor their games for their targeted audiences.
Player Research was founded in 2012 by Graham McAllister and employs a number of PhDs and MScs at its research laboratory in Brighton, with expertise in fields such as Human-Computer Interaction, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Experimental Psychology, Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology.
Under the terms of the acquisition, which is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing, Keywords is paying an initial consideration comprised of £700,000 in cash and the issue to the Sellers of 65,280 new ordinary shares in Keywords, which will be subject to a two-year lock in period. Further cash consideration of up to £300,000 may be payable subject to Player Research achieving certain targets within two years of the acquisition.
Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange for the admission of 65,280 new ordinary shares to trading on AIM. Admission of the new shares is expected to take place at 8.00am on 31 October 2016. The Company's total issued share capital following admission will consist of 54,404,001 ordinary shares of one pence each with one voting right per share. The above figure of 54,404,001 may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they can determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the Company following admission.
Giacomo Duranti, Chief Operating Officer, commented:
"Keywords and Player Research have been exploring opportunities together over the past 3 years. As both companies have expanded their services to multiple points along the games lifecycle the fit between us has become increasingly apparent. We believe that by integrating Player Research within the Group, and rolling out its services into our existing studios to provide reach into all major gaming regions, we will be able to leverage the intellectual capital, talent pool and execution capability of both organisations to significantly enhance the value we are able to bring to our clients. We are delighted to be able to welcome Player Research's highly talented team to the Keywords family and we look forward to working closely together to build upon Player Research's excellent reputation and loyal client base."