Major European entertainment production company FremantleMedia today announced it plans to purchase a controlling interest in Montreal-based developer Ludia.
FremantleMedia, which produces, distributes, and handles programming rights for European broadcaster RTL, currently owns a 29 percent stake in the developer. Ludia has produced console, PC and iOS games based on Fremantle properties including The Price is Right, Family Feud and Press Your Luck since 2008.
In a press statement, FremantleMedia CEO Tony Cohen said the planned acquisition is part of the company's efforts to broaden its interests and find new audiences outside of television.
“Interactive gaming is an important way for FremantleMedia to diversify and this will increase our expertise and capability in this area, allowing both companies to develop even more successful consumer-facing entertainment across multiple platforms,” said Cohen in the statement.
Pending Canadian regulatory approval of the deal, Ludia President and Founder Alex Thabet will stay on as head of the 100-person development studio, which will also retain its existing management teams and third-party relationships, FremantleMedia said.
"FremantleMedia has been a trusted partner and this new investment gives us the opportunity to develop new games using their fantastic international brands," Thabet said in a statement.
The move comes as media conglomerates from Disney (which bought Playdom
) to Warner Bros. (which is finishing up a host of purchases
) have sought to acquire and fund game developers in an effort to gain a foothold in the industry.