Struggling publisher Atari has sold off Shiny Entertainment (the team behind the Earthworm Jim franchise and the The Matrix games) to America?s largest independent developer, Foundation 9 Entertainment. Atari is to retain ownership of the Earthworm Jim brand and Shiny is to move in with Foundation 9 studio The Collective.
Foundation 9's other internal studios include Backbone Entertainment, Pipeworks, ImaginEngine and Digital Eclipse.
Shiny?s founder, Dave Perry, spoke to Gamespot about the deal last night: "Foundation 9 is growing from strength to strength and had been doing a great job of attracting top Hollywood licenses (Star Wars being a good example). I found it funny last year when we actually bumped into each other when pitching a particular Hollywood director. The fact that they were there showed me they were very aggressive. Having done deals like Dirty Harry, they definitely have some fun projects for their staff to work on, [but] now that Foundation 9 has locked a deal down, I could not be happier for my old crew."
John Goldman, chairman and CEO of Foundation 9, said of the deal: "Shiny Entertainment fits well with the current studios of Foundation 9 and aligns with our long-term goals for the future? The studio has tremendous talent and experience working with big Hollywood franchises and will be working with us on a major, as-yet-undisclosed day and date release. The Shiny team will only add to our capabilities and technology base."
An unnamed Gamespot source pegged the value of the deal - based on Shiny?s 40-strong workforce and a per-employee valuation of $500,000 per person - at around $20 million.
SPOnG will bring further news on the yet-to-be-announced 'major Hollywood tie-in' which Shiny and The Collective are to produce as soon as we get it.