Spending $45 million to buy a somewhat obscure tool developer might sound foolhardy, even for a prosperous free-to-play firm like Wargaming.net, but the World of Tanks
maker sees its new acquisition as an investment in its future.
The London-based developer and publisher has purchased MMO middleware developer BigWorld, which builds the technology powering World of Tanks
, as well as Wargaming.net's other franchises like World of Warplanes
and the upcoming World of Battleships
It didn't acquire BigWorld just to make internal development more efficient and lower its costs by bringing the tech in-house; Wargaming.net also believes that owning this platform, a crucial component to its online games, will allow the company to control its own future.
And in its near future, Wargaming.net expects to bring in annual revenues of $200 million, CEO Victor Kislyi told
VentureBeat. He claimed BigWorld's platform has an advantage over other MMO middleware, in that it uses a server infrastructure that's more secure than peer-to-peer tech, and allows for faster creation of games.
With 35 million registered users for its flagship title World of Tanks
, Wargaming.net is one of the fastest-growing free-to-play game developers. It will get even bigger with this latest acquisition as the company adds BigWorld's more than 25 employees to its staff of over 1,000.
BigWorld will continue to support clients who've licensed its platform -- mostly Asian MMO developers and publishers -- and WarGaming.net says it's considering eventually offering the technology developed by the combined efforts of its own team and BigWorld's to others.