Keywords Studios sees ‘robust demand’ driving growth

4 Aug 2021

Image: Keywords Studios

The Dublin-based game developer expects its profit to grow by more than 80pc as it continues to search for a new permanent CEO.

Keywords Studios, the Dublin-based gaming company, posted half-year financial results that showed strong revenue and profit growth.

The company’s revenues to 30 June were approximately €238m, a 37pc year-on-year increase. On an organic basis, excluding the company’s many acquisitions and movements in currency, Keywords expects a revenue increase of approximately 23pc. Gross profit should come to approximately €40m, up more than 80pc from last year.

The company said its strong first-half performance came from “robust demand” for its services and a “buoyant video games market” focused on developing new content to keep gamers engaged following rising demand for entertainment during the pandemic.

The report also said that the company is continuing its search for a CEO after Andrew Day was forced into early retirement by health issues in June. Jon Hauck and Sonia Sedler are serving as joint interim CEOs, and Keywords said it has identified “a number of high-calibre candidates” for the position. The company promised to update shareholders when appropriate.

“Keywords has made a strong start to the year, continuing the momentum seen in the second half of 2020, with demand for our services being driven by a buoyant video games market, structural trends towards outsourcing, and a renewed focus on content creation,” Hauck said.

“Whilst parts of our business remain constrained by Covid-19 related measures, we would like to thank all our colleagues for their resourcefulness and dedication as they have continued to serve our clients with passion and commitment.”

Hauck also highlighted Keywords’ acquisitions of Tantalus Media in March and Climax Studios in April. The purchases of the Australian and British developers followed a jam-packed 2020 in which the company acquired a slate of businesses specialising in game development and marketing.

“We continue to review a healthy pipeline of acquisitions that extend the breadth and depth of services Keywords is able to offer its global video games clients, particularly as we build our marketing and game development service lines to be the supplier of choice,” Hauck added.

Founded in 1998, Keywords provides services to most of the industry’s biggest names including Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, Epic Games, Ubisoft, Konami and Electronic Arts. It has more than 60 studios in 21 countries and works in areas including art, audio, development, quality assurance, localisation and player support.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin