Casual Game Developer Acquires Ritual Entertainment

http:/ images/sindevsacquired1169753378.jpgCasual games developer MumboJumbo has announced the acquisition of Ritual Entertainment today, although financial terms weren’t disclosed as of the time of this writing. This acquisition marks one–if not the–most significant acquisition of a mainstream game development company by a casual game developer. Ritual Entertainment, which enjoyed success over the past ten years, developed many high-profile games including SiN, Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2, Star Trek: Elite Force II, Delta Force: Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre, and SiN Episodes: Emergence, and contributed resources to other titles like 25 to Life, American McGee Presents Alice, and Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. MumboJumbo has developed many popular casual games, including LUXOR, which has amassed over 50 million downloads since its release, and secured deals with Nickelodeon and others.

In 2001, Ron Dimant, former CEO of Ritual Entertainment, left his position in order to found MumboJumbo. Dimant said, "MumboJumbo established the casual games category at retail, and the purchase of Ritual Entertainment is consistent with our strategy to bring high-quality casual game content to the major platforms. The combination of Ritual’s high-end, multi-platform expertise and our own industry-leading publishing model will set the bar for quality and sophistication in casual games and create a major industry powerhouse. The casual games market is beginning to mature as evidenced by an increase in consumer expectations. Ultimately, the companies providing the best content will win, which is why we are investing so heavily in the development of technology and original IP."

There’s no word if this acquisition will affect Ritual’s delayed second entry in the SiN Episodes series, or if the entire series has now been cancelled. Over the past few months, various key employees left Ritual Entertainment, including level designer John Schuch (now employed by 3D Realms), CEO Steve Nix (id Software), Vice President and co-founder Tom Mustaine (leading development on a competitive multiplayer online FPS called Severity), and QA Manager Michael Russell.

In the world of game development, it’s very easy for one company to be acquired by another in order to save itself. In a bout of irony, the former CEO of the company ended up buying back his former company. While its unknown if any current or former Ritual IPs will still be completed, the shift will now be on developing games for the casual gaming audience.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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