Keywords Studios acquires UK development studio Coconut Lizard

26 Jun 2020

A close-up of an Xbox One controller. Image: © FE_Designs/

As part of the acquisition, Keywords Studios will have access to Coconut Lizard’s game development services and its talent pool.

Dublin-headquartered video games services company Keywords Studios is continuing its run of acquisition activity, snapping up development studio Coconut Lizard.

Based in Gateshead in the UK, Coconut Lizard provides specialised game development services, such as engineering services, with expertise in Unreal Engine. The start-up was founded in 2015 by Robert and Patima Troughton.

Coconut Lizard helps game developers identify bottlenecks and performance issues, before suggesting and implementing solutions to improve the overall project’s quality. It has provided its optimisation, porting, middleware integration and game hardening services to clients including Microsoft’s Rare Studio, where it helped in the development of multiplayer game Sea of Thieves.

Before setting up Coconut Lizard, co-founder Robert Troughton built video games developer Pitbull Studio, which was sold to Epic Games in 2014.

The acquisition

Keywords Studios said that the acquisition brings strong access to game development talent, including graduates from the specialised video game development and engineering degree courses at University of Sunderland and Newcastle University.

Coconut Lizard has added 10 developers to its team since January 2020, bringing its total headcount to 29 with further growth expected during the year.

Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords Studios, said: “The Coconut Lizard team will bring further expertise in the Unreal Engine, as well as access to talent to our wider team of around 1,000 people working across our game development studios internationally.”

Founded in 1998, Keywords has 59 facilities in 21 countries. The company provides integrated art creation, marketing services, software engineering, testing, localisation, audio and customer care services across 50 languages and 16 games platforms to its base of more than 950 clients.

It has provided services to 23 of the most prominent games companies, including Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Riot Games, Ubisoft, Microsoft and Square Enix. Some of the recent titles the business has worked on include Fortnite, League of Legends, Mortal Combat X and Borderlands 3.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic