International physical science research and engineering company Applied Research Associates (ARA) has acquired noted serious games developer Virtual Heroes, Inc. Virtual Heroes employees will remain stationed at their offices in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, and will integrate with ARA's Systems and Operations Sector.
Founded in 2004 by a team of simulation industry veterans, Virtual Heroes has developed or helped to develop a number of serious game applications, including Hilton Garden Inn Ultimate Team Play, Pamoja Mtaani
, and the America's Army
series of U.S. Army recruitment titles. The company was recently approached by NASA
to develop the upcoming space exploration game Astronaut: Moon, Mars & Beyond
ARA plans to expand Virtual Heroes' presence in the medical training field. The developer's portfolio includes applications such as Zero Hour: America's Medic
, a product that simulates medical physics and patient reaction to medications.
"Bringing Virtual Heroes’ technical and creative capabilities into ARA represents a solid strategic fit for our business and opens the door to many new opportunities for the combined organization," said ARA CEO Neil Higgins. "ARA will invest in and further mature the Virtual Heroes Advanced Learning Technology (A.L.T.) Platform and Virtual Heroes HumanSim
technology for medical training and education."
"We are thrilled to join the world-class team at ARA and look forward to leveraging a wide array of capabilities, developing new products, and achieving our goal of being the global leader in Advanced Learning Technologies," said Virtual Heroes CEO Jerry Heneghan. "Both ARA and Virtual Heroes are expert integrators of complex engineering software solutions and we share a common culture of responsiveness and excellence – we think this is definitely a win-win for both companies."