League of Legends developer and publisher Riot Games has acquired Hytale developer Hypixel Studios, the company announced.
“We’ve known the team behind Hypixel Studios for several years, and from the start they’ve been the kind of visionaries that we aspire to support; a passionate studio committed to delivering a groundbreaking, genre-defining experience for players,” said Riot Games president Dylan Jadeja in a press release. “Over the last 18 months, we’ve been fortunate to advise Hypixel Studios as they build toward their vision for evolving a game genre that reaches an incredibly diverse range of players around the globe. Now, as they prepare to enter the next chapter, we’re thrilled to take our partnership to the next level through this acquisition. We look forward to supporting Hypixel Studios’ journey through the development process, helping them grow, and learning from them as well.”
Hypixel Studios’ newly appointed CEO Aaron “Noxy” Donaghey added, “We’ve been blown away by players’ response to Hytale, and Riot is the right partner to help us deliver a game that can live up to players’ expectations. Since our first meetings with Riot leadership long before their initial investment, we’ve found in Riot a partner with a similar commitment to empowering players. As development kicks into high gear, we’ll benefit from Riot’s resources, expertise, and experience while maintaining the operational independence that has enabled our success so far.”
Thanks to the acquisition, Hypixel Studios will gain access to Riot Games’ experience in developing and publishing player-focused games.
“Our investment criteria is ultimately pretty simple: we look for authentic game makers striving to improve player experience,” said Riot Games head of corporate and business develompent Brian Cho. “When we led the investment in the Hypixel Studios team two years ago, we saw a group deeply immersed in existing block games who believed that the genre could better serve its community. This acquisition will bring our collaborative efforts with Noxy and the Hypixel team even closer together, and we can’t wait to see how their work continues to evolve.”
Hypixel Studio co-founder Simon Collins-Laflamme added, “Riot’s been an important partner from the start and this is a natural next step in our relationship. It’ll help the studio take another leap forward in our journey from mod team to professional developers, and allows the team to realize our vision for Hytale.”
Hypixel Studios will retain its current structure, while also establishing a permanent office in Derry / Londonderry, Northern Ireland, which will act as a base for back-office functions and quality assurance. It is currently hiring 20 new positions in these areas.
Hytale is currently in development for PC with a full-scale release planned for 2021. Sign-ups for its beta test have surpassed 2.5 million, and its December 2018-released announcement trailer has been viewed nearly 56 million times.