Keywords Studios makes $12 million triple acquisition of Ichi, Kantan and Syllabes

"We are delighted to have made three high calibre acquisitions"

Date Type Companies involved Size
December 17th, 2019 acquisition Keywords Studios $12.4m
Keywords Studios makes $12 million triple acquisition of Ichi, Kantan and Syllabes

Service provider Keywords Studios has made three acquisitions in the form of Ichi, Kantan and Syllabes.

Founded in 2009, Ichi provides a full suite of creative and marketing services to video game publishers, as well as firms in the sports and entertainment sector. The company creates brand marketing campaign strategies, helping with game trailers, live-action, social content and more.

Keywords has purchased the London-based group for £3.2 million ($4.21 million). An initial payment of £2.24 million ($2.94 million) in cash will be made and 70,247 in Keywords ordinary shares will be issued to the seller within 18 months of completion.

"Ichi's high value-add branding strategy and marketing expertise are key to determining the success of a game or product, so they will be a valuable addition to the Group's range of marketing services," said Keywords Studio CEO Andrew Day.


Xcelerator Machine Translations, known as Kantan, is a developer of automated translation technology alongside a crowdsourcing translation platformer called KantanMT. Located in Dublin, the tech is licensed to organisations such as eBay, Vista Print, and the European Commission.

Keywords has secured the deal which potentially could see the firm pay €7 million ($7.81 million), with €3.5 million ($3.9 million) being paid initially to founder Tony O'Dowd and investors.

"We have already been working with Kantan, which we previously selected as a commercial partner to underpin our machine translation initiatives in games, as its solutions are uniquely adaptable to the challenges of applying machine translation to video games," commented Day.

"Kantan brings its highly customisable technology, its exciting crowdsourced translation platform, and the deep expertise of Tony O'Dowd and his team.


Keywords' final acquisition of the day was for the Montreal-based Syllabes, which specialises in audio recording and casting services in French and English for the video games industry.

Payment of CA$475,000 ($360,852) will be made for ownership of the firm. A cash consideration of up to CA$325,000 ($246,899) will also be paid to founder and seller Nicolas Charbonneaux.

"Having collaborated with Syllabes on a wide range of projects over many years, we are pleased to be able to bring them into the Group, enabling us to provide the full range of our services out of our Montreal hub," said Day.

"We look forward to working with the highly experienced and creative teams at Kantan, Ichi and Syllabes, to support their growth as part of the Keywords family as they, in turn, help us to build further upon our reputation as the leading provider of highly specialised video games services around the world."

Keywords recently expanded its operations in Poland and Mexico, looking to take on another 300 plus employees across both locations. It continues to acquire firms at a steady pace, most recently picking up audio description firm Descriptive Video Works for $2.4 million.

Deputy Editor

Matthew Forde is the deputy editor at and also a member of the Pocket Gamer Podcast. You can find him on Twitter @MattForde64 talking about stats, data and everything pop culture related - particularly superheroes.