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Swedish videogame maker bought by French competitor

Acclaimed Swedish videogame maker Massive Entertainment, developer of the popular strategy title "World In Conflict”, has been purchased by French rival Ubisoft.

Swedish videogame maker bought by French competitor

“Massive’s development team places great importance on its freedom to innovate and create games of the highest quality,” said Massive founder and president Martin Walfisz.

“We are fortunate to have found in Ubisoft a publisher who shares the same values and understands our mindset. I have no doubt that our future together will offer significant mutual benefit and synergy.”

Massive has grown to 120 workers since it was founded in 1997 and Game Developers Research ranks it among the world’s top 50 videogame studios.

Ubisoft bought Massive from Activision Blizzard for an undisclosed amount.

“We are delighted to welcome the talented team of creators at Massive into the Ubisoft family,” Ubisoft executive director of worldwide production studios Christine Burgess-Quemard said in a statement released by the company’s North America office on Monday.

“Ubisoft is growing at an intense pace and our strategy is to ensure the strength of our global creative teams.”

Ubisoft sales leapt 31 percent to €344 million ($439 million) in the three months ending September 30 as compared with the same period last year, according to earnings results released in late October.

The surge in sales was credited to launches of “Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway” and “SoulCaliber IV” versions for Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft XBox 360 videogame consoles along with “casual games” for Nintendo DS devices.

GAMING

UK teacher challenges Swedes to Minecraft

An English high school has taken notice after teachers in Stockholm introduced compulsory Minecraft lessons for 13-year-old students, with one Englishman keen to pit his own students against those in Sweden.

UK teacher challenges Swedes to Minecraft

After The Local wrote about a Stockholm school and its compulsory Minecraft lessons, one Englishman has been particularly moved by the Minecraft must.

Andrew Richardson Medd, assistant head teacher at the new Thomas Ferens Academy in Hull, is keen to get a similar programme running for his own students.

“When I saw the article, I thought – this is what I’m looking for – a lot of our students were playing Minecraft already and I’ve been trying to find something for our project-based learning programme,” Medd told The Local.

With his own students at the Hull school already equipped with their own iPads, Medd believes that interactive work with the Swedish computer game could be the perfect platform for a summer project for his own 13-14-year-olds.

“Learning has changed. Pupils aren’t receivers any more, the boundaries are greyed. Learning has become more collaborative, and that’s what I like about the game,” he said.

“Students are digital natives; they learn through experimenting whereas adults learn by questioning.”

Minecraft has already proven to be extremely popular worldwide since its release in November 2011, with over 40 million registered players and 17.5 million games units sold.

The three dimensional game demands that players find creative solutions to construction problems. According to its website, the idea is as simple as “arranging blocks to build anything you can imagine.”

While Medd is yet to hear back from teachers in Stockholm about their project, he is keen to throw down the gauntlet if that’s what it takes to get noticed.

“My vision is that the two schools could come together in an online collaborative project. A competition would be fantastic – let’s take on the natives, so to speak,” he told The Local.

“I cant profess to be a techie myself, but the kids would be really up for the challenge.”

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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