Keyword Studios recently announced a $50M Acquisition of High Voltage Software, with offices in Hoffman Estate, Ill., and New Orleans, La.
“We are tremendously excited Keyword Studios share our vision for augmenting our development capabilities and they will provide us the ability to embark upon a growth trajectory for our business creating the next generation of AAA games,” said High Voltage founder Kerry Ganofsky. “Furthermore, Keywords Studios’ investment in our studio is an outstanding sign for the continued expansion of game development in Illinois and Louisiana.”
Founded in 1993 by Ganofsky, High Voltage is credited on 100 game titles – including Fortnite, the most-played game in the world - and worked with more than 25 major brands, including Star Wars, Toy Story, Batman, SpongeBob SquarePants, Ben 10, LEGO, Lilo & Stitch, Iron Man, Captain America, and Family Guy. Headquartered in the Chicagoland area, HVS has grown into one of the largest third-party game developers in the world. High Voltage Software opened a subsidiary studio in New Orleans in 2014 after a multi-state competitive process.
“GNO Inc. was proud to have led the team that brought High Voltage Software to New Orleans in 2014, and we are thrilled to welcome Keyword Studios to the family,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “We know High Voltage is one of the most-respected and enduring development studios in America, and their new partnership with Keyword Studios will undoubtedly catalyze further growth in New Orleans, and throughout the gaming industry.”
New Orleans has positioned itself as a leading destination for entertainment production, and the expanding digital media sector in New Orleans has made the city one of the fastest-growing game development hubs in the country. inXile Games, which is part of Microsoft Xbox Game Studios; High Voltage Software; and Testronic are among many top companies working on significant game projects in New Orleans for consoles, PCs and mobile devices. In addition, Greater New Orleans is #5 and #3 in the USA for African-Americans and women in technology jobs per capita, respectively.
“The New Orleans Business Alliance looks forward to connecting Keyword Studios to talented local job candidates. In partnership with a broad coalition of organizations, the Business Alliance is committed to ensuring that talent is a not a barrier as Keyword grows through their acquisition of High Voltage Studios,” said Quentin Messer, Jr., President & CEO at NOLABA. “New Orleanians have demonstrated that they can perform at the highest levels as they continue to develop some of the most popular video games for global audiences. We are grateful for Keyword Studios’ vote of confidence in our city and they join a growing list of the industry’s biggest names committing to growing in New Orleans.”
In addition to attracting a number of top companies in the gaming industry, New Orleans has made major investments in workforce training and higher education that support a skilled talent pipeline. Earlier in 2020, GNO, Inc. along with Louisiana Economic Development and the New Orleans Business Alliance announced Xbox Game Studios Game Camp Powered by Unity. Game Camp was open to aspiring game developers of all skill levels, including artists, musicians, project managers and many other disciplines. The camp was designed to inspire adults in greater New Orleans to realize their potential in the game development industry through unique learning experiences from industry leaders.