Keywords expands translation, marketing and audio businesses with trio of acquisitions

Date Type Companies involved Size
December 17th, 2019 Keywords Studios Not disclosed
Keywords expands translation, marketing and audio businesses with trio of acquisitions

Video games service giant Keywords Studios has announced the purchase of not one, not two but three companies.

The firm has snapped up machine translation firm Kantan - aka Xcelerator Machine Translations - paying €3.5m ($3.9m) in cash as well as 38,699 shares, with another €2.9m ($3.23m) being shelled out based on performance.

Meanwhile, London-based marketing firm Ichi Holdings has been bought for £3.2m ($4.23m), £.2.24m ($2.96m) being paid in cash with 70,247 shares being dolled out as well.

Finally, Montreal audio recording firm Syllabes - aka 9145-9115 - has been bought for CAD$457,000 ($356,771).

"We are delighted to have made three high calibre acquisitions," Keywords boss Andrew Day (pictured) said. 

"We have already been working with Kantan, which we previously selected as a commercial partner to underpin our machine translation initiatives in games, as its solutions are uniquely adaptable to the challenges of applying machine translation to video games. Video games are highly context specific, often being set in fantasy worlds, are highly immersive, and therefore require both high quality and highly adapted localisation, are multi-branching and use real-time, AI generated content.

"Kantan brings its highly customisable technology, its exciting crowd sourced translation platform, and the deep expertise of Tony O'Dowd and his team. This, combined with Keywords' 20 years of games localisation experience and video game translators around the world will enable us to provide a fully integrated world leading machine-assisted localisation service to leading video game publishers and developers, further cementing our market leading position.

"Ichi's high value-add branding strategy and marketing expertise are key to determining the success of a game or product, so they will be a valuable addition to the Group's range of marketing services.

"Having collaborated with Syllabes on a wide range of projects over many years, we are pleased to be able to bring them in to the Group, enabling us to provide the full range of our services out of our Montreal hub.

"We look forward to working with the highly experienced and creative teams at Kantan, Ichi and Syllabes, to support their growth as part of the Keywords family as they, in turn, help us to build further upon our reputation as the leading provider of highly specialised video games services around the world."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.