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Foundation 9 Entertainment

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Foundation 9 Entertainment (sometimes abbreviated as F9E) is an entertainment products developer, which works on properties for multiple media, including video games, comic books, film and television series. The company is currently the largest independent game developer in the world,Template:According to whom? and has more than 650 employees working in its various studios in California, Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon, U.S, Sheffield, UK, and Pune, India.

History

With divisions founded as early as 1992, Foundation 9 Entertainment grew through a number of strategic mergers and acquisitions. It owns 6 core brands and 7 separate studio locations, as well as a minority stake in a production management company.

The company was formed on March 29, 2005 through the merger of Backbone Entertainment, The Collective.[1] and Oregon-based developer Pipeworks Software.[2] Subsequently, on May 26, 2005, F9E announced a partnership with Circle of Confusion.[3] Unlike F9E's other studios, which generally specialize in software development, Circle of Confusion is a production and management company that represents creative staff in the entertainment industries.

On June 1, 2006 Foundation 9 secured an investment of up to $150 million by private equity investment firm Francisco Partners.[4] Subsequent to this investment, Foundation 9 announced the acquisition of Shiny Entertainment on October 2, 2006,[5] Amaze Entertainment on November 14, 2006,[6] and Sumo Digital on August 17, 2007.[7]

On May 25, 2007, the Charlottetown, PEI studio of Foundation 9 constituent Backbone Entertainment was spun off to become independent developer Other Ocean Interactive.[8]

Additional studios under the umbrella include ImaginEngine (part of Backbone Entertainment) and Griptonite Games (part of Amaze Entertainment). Digital Eclipse is not a studio under the Foundation 9 hierarchy, as all games under the Digital Eclipse brand were developed at the Backbone Entertainment studios. Digital Eclipse was originally one of the constituent companies that came together to form Backbone, the progenitor of F9E.

Two of its California-based studios, The Collective and Shiny, were merged in late 2007 and relocated to a new 60,000-square-foot ({{rnd/bExpression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "[".|Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "[".|(Template:Max/2)|Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "[". }} m2) headquarters in Irvine. The resultant studio was eventually named Double Helix in early 2008.[9]

In May 2009, Foundation 9 completed the closure of its Vancouver, Canada-based studio of Backbone Entertainment, after a series of staff cutbacks beginning September 2008.[10] Subsequently, in July 2009, Foundation 9 closed The Fizz Factor, its Texas-based studio under the Amaze Entertainment umbrella.[11] Amaze was consolidated under Griptonite at the same time, and Double Helix scaled back its operations.[12]

For the most part, Foundation 9 has allowed each acquired entity to continue to operate their separate studios, and to pursue projects of their own choosing. Through these studios and core brands, F9E has worked with some of the largest names in game publishing, including Eidos Interactive, Hudson Soft, Midway Games, Majesco Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Computer Entertainment, Activision, Vivendi, Take-Two Interactive, Sega, Capcom, Harmonix, Square Enix, and Konami.

At its inception, the company was helmed by CEO Jon Goldman, who came from Backbone (and was founder of ImaginEngine). Upon the acquisition of Amaze, he was joined by COO David Mann, a co-founder of Amaze, who, on January 16, 2008, assumed the position of President.[13] As of March 17, 2008, James North-Hearn, one of Sumo Digital's founders, has assumed the CEO position.[14]

References

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