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Futuremark retaining game rights following Rovio acquisition

Futuremark will retain the rights to games previously published by its subsidiary Futuremark Games, which was acquired by Angry Birds developer Rovio earlier today.
Rovio, the developer behind the behemoth casual gaming franchise Angry Birds revealed this morning that it has acquired the gaming division of benchmarking software company Futuremark. Futuremark Games, best known for releases such as Shattered Horizon and Unstoppable Gorg, was formed in 2008 as part of parent company Futuremark's move into game development. The games arm is now splitting off from its parent, and will be working alongside the team at Rovio on current and future projects. Rovio's communications specialist Sini Matikainen told Gamasutra that Futuremark Games and the staff have been merged into the main company, rather than being left as a separate entity. Matikainen said that the company is not divulging how much it paid for Futuremark Games at the present time. However, Futuremark CEO Jukka Makinen (pictured) told Gamasutra that Futuremark Games' previous work will stay with the parent company. "The rights for all our previously published games remain with Futuremark," he explained. "We will continue to offer customer support but we have no plans to develop any new titles." The company plans to focus on developing its 3DMark benchmarking software from now on, halting all video game development. Makinen noted that the acquisition came about as a result of it being extremely easy to network in the Finnish gaming industry. "Everyone knows each other," he said. "People who have been in the business any length of time tend to know almost everyone." He continued, "Futuremark and Rovio are both located in the same part of Finland just outside Helsinki. Most of the big name developers are here and many smaller ones too. In addition, Finland has a strong IGDA organisation and there are other forums and venues for those in the gaming industry to get together and exchange ideas." The Futuremark head believes that the rise in strong Finland-based game developers is down to "a strong demoscene in the 90s," which set the foundations for what now makes up the core of the country's games industry. "[The demoscene] created a talent pool of people with exceptional technical skills. Futuremark, Remedy, Bugbear: they were all formed by people from the demoscene who were able to push technology to new levels," he explained. "Finnish developers have also been leading the trend into new platforms, particularly digital distribution, mobile and browser games. There are also a number of government support funding initiatives available to Finnish developers, which can help get new projects up and running."

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