Keywords Studios snaps up US gaming studio Hardsuit

11 May 2023

Image: © Gorodenkoff/

On an acquistion spree, Keywords has snapped up the company that helped Activision make Call of Duty and Crash Bandicoot.

Dublin’s Keywords Studios has acquired Hardsuit, a game development studio based in Seattle, further expanding its presence in the US.

Hardsuit was founded in 2015 by Andy Kipling and Russell Nelson. With more than 70 employees, the company offers external development, co-development and porting services.

Some of Hardsuit’s major projects include global AAA franchises such as Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty and Crash Bandicoot.

“The business is a great fit for our Create service line and strengthens our existing offering for some of the strongest intellectual properties in digital entertainment,” said Bertrand Bodson, CEO of Keywords.

“Hardsuit is our first game development studio in Seattle, growing our presence in a city home to several existing and potential clients, and gives us access to a high-quality talent pool from which to drive future growth.”

Kipling and Nelson, who will stay on and continue leading the company, said they were “thrilled” to be starting Hardsuit’s “next phase of growth” as part of the Keywords team.

“As the largest player in the industry, Keywords will provide us with a strong foundation and deliver opportunities for us to do more for our clients and franchises,” they said in a statement.

“We believe Keywords has a very similar people-focused and tech-savvy entrepreneurial culture and are excited to get started on delivering against our future growth opportunities.”

While the value of the deal has not been disclosed, it is worth up to $15m according to an Irish Times report.

In December, the gaming giant continued a global acquisition spree by snapping up LabCom, a PR and communications agency based in Italy. This came just days after it acquired customer support platform Helpshift for up to $75m.

Founded in Ireland in 1998, Keywords Studios has grown to encompass more than 70 facilities in 26 countries across Asia, Australia, the Americas and Europe.

Its clients include big players such as Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, Epic Games, Ubisoft, Konami and Electronic Arts.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic