Velvet Sundown maker Tribe Studios has been acquired by British mobile messaging app company Palringo for an undisclosed sum, with the stated goal of porting Tribe's Dramagame engine tech to mobile.
This is part of the company's ongoing efforts to refocus its Palringo mobile messaging platform away from enterprise communications in favor of games, which have already proven attractive to competing mobile messaging app makers like Facebook, Tencent and Line.
But what makes this deal especially interesting is that Tribe was explicitly acquired for its Dramagame tech, which powers (among other things) the oddly intriguing multiplayer drama game Velvet Sundown.
The game (pictured) defies easy explanation, and entails players trying to accomplish non-violent objectives (gathering information, for example) by conversing with each other in-character via a text-to-speech synthesizer.
I encourage you to go back and check out the conversation I had with Tribe cofounder Elina Arponen last year about her hopes that Velvet Sundown and Dramagame would prove popular enough to help foster a whole new genre of game design. How that tech will mesh with a mobile chat app remains to be seen.