US firm buys Adelaide game developer

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Adelaide game developer Ratbag has been bought by US interactive entertainment publisher Midway Games for an undisclosed sum.

Adelaide game developer Ratbag has been bought by US interactive entertainment publisher Midway Games for an undisclosed sum.

Midway said in a statement that buying Ratbag gave it a foothold to enter the Australian market.

"Midway acquired the privately-held developer in a primarily stock transaction for 418,570 Midway shares," it said.

Rights to acquire a total 38,050 shares of Midway common stock were issued to "key" Ratbag employees to encourage them to stay with the new company, Midway said.

Ratbag would be renamed Midway Studios -- Australia, the US company said.

"The studio is currently working on several unannounced Midway products for both current and next generation systems."

Greg Siegele, founder and chief executive at Ratbag, said "everyone at Ratbag" was "thrilled" to be joining Midway. Eleven-year-old Ratbag had done a lot with racing games, he said.

"We look forward to building the studio and delivering compelling, high quality action titles, furthering Adelaide and Australia's reputation as a creative centre," he said.

David Zucker, chief executive officer at Midway Games, said buying Ratbag would add depth to its own product development organisation.

"Ratbag brings to Midway a rare combination of development expertise in driving and on-foot combat that they are incorporating into our games now in development," Zucker said.

Matt Booty, senior vice-president of worldwide studios for Midway Games, said Ratbag was a proven studio with solid management and a strong development team.

"Midway [would] establish a firm foothold in Australia, a great location for top entertainment industry talent," Booty said.

The employee rights to acquire stock would vest in stages over three years, provided the staff member concerned stayed with Midway, the company said.

The Ratbag employees receiving the rights were Tony Albrecht, Karl Burdack, Cam Dunn, Kim Forrest, Franta Fulin, Adam Mackay-Smith, Robin Maddock, Andrew Medlin, Sadhana Pereira, and David Todd, Midway said.

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