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Microsoft Acquires Vancouver Studio BigPark

Microsoft Acquires Vancouver Studio BigPark

May 8, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

Despite prominent cost-reduction initiatives in recent months, Microsoft today showed it still intends to spend on its game business.

Microsoft today bought up Vancouver-based BigPark, a studio part-owned by Interactive Entertainment Business boss Don Mattrick, who also helped start it up prior to his Micrsoft days.

BigPark will now be part of Microsoft Game Studios, as it's been at work on an unspecified Xbox 360 exclusive to be shown at E3 this year. Microsoft says it has "worked closely" with the studio on the project thus far.

BigPark CEO and co-founder Hanno Lemke, a veteran of Distinctive Software and Electronic Arts who's produced or headed titles like NHL Hockey, Need For Speed and Skate, will report to MGS boss Phil Spencer.

"Given our shared passion for breaking new ground in the online space and producing best-in-class gaming experiences, our partnership with Microsoft over the last year has been a natural fit, which we've thoroughly enjoyed," says Lemke.

Microsoft says Mattrick fully disclosed his role as an investor in BigPark before he joined the company, and that it's approved his prior involvement as BigPark chairman according to its company-wide Standards of Business Conduct.

"We are delighted by the opportunity to welcome the BigPark team into Microsoft Game Studios," says Spencer. "The team is composed of some of the most experienced and creative minds working in the industry today. The combination of the BigPark and Microsoft Game Studios talent pools will be an accelerant for growth and innovation."

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