Shanghai-headquartered video game outsourcing firm Virtuos has acquired Grafit, a Russian concept art specialist studio with a worldwide network of artists.
Founded in 2004, Virtuos is one of the larger outsourcing companies, with clients including LucasArts, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Zynga. It has two offices in China as well as business offices in Vancouver, Tokyo, and Verneuil sur Seine, France.
Grafit is based in the city of Voronezh, and also operates a network of concept artists throughout Russia, Europe, and Asia.
Two of the company's key staffers, concept art directors Roman Tulinov and Victor "Hamsterfly" Titov, have transferred to Virtuos' Shanghai headquarters in the wake of the acquisition.
Virtuos says the lack of a strong existing concept art department had prevented the company from entering certain outsourcing areas. Grafit will now operate as the company's concept art studio.
“Our clients have expressed a growing demand for concept art -– for example, for levels of games we co-develop or characters we produce. But we wanted to wait to offer these services until we had assembled a really strong concept art team," said Virtuos art director Andrey Supryaga.
"We have known Andrey for over five years and we have already collaborated with the Virtuos art teams on a number of projects," said Tulinov. "By joining with Virtuos, we will be able to contribute our creative vision to more projects for a wider range of clients, and we look forward to that opportunity."