Sony Computer Entertainment said on Tuesday it was buying Sucker Punch Productions, the studio behind the inFamous franchise, as Sony Corp's unit tries to expand its portfolio of original video games.
Sucker Punch, based in Bellevue, Washington, has 75 employees, according to Sony. The financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.
The video game industry has been rife with consolidation in recent months. In July, Electronic Arts Inc said it was acquiring PopCap games, another company based in the Seattle area, in a deal worth up to $1.3 billion.
Sucker Punch's action adventure game, inFamous 2, was the top selling software title in June, according to research firm NPD.
Sony was attracted to Sucker Punch because of its track record of making high quality, profitable products over a long period of time, said Scott Rohde, senior vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios.
It is Sony Computer Entertainment's first major video game acquisition since it bought Media Molecule, the studio behind the game Little Big Planet, in March 2010.
The team will remain in Seattle. Sony Computer Entertainment has 2,700 employees and 16 studios globally.
Sony said it already owns the rights to most of the company's intellectual property. Most of Sucker Punch's games are exclusive to Sony's PlayStation 3 home gaming console.
The video game industry has become more hits driven as budgets for top games have ballooned since the late 1990s, when top console games could be made for a couple of million dollars. In 2011, a top-selling game for a console might cost between $20 million and $40 million dollars.
As a part of Sony, the studio can now take more risks without worrying about its budget, said Sucker Punch managing partner Brian Fleming.
When you're an independent little guy with one little project, with every game, you are risking your life and livelihood. This will help us creatively to be less inhibited, Fleming said.
Fleming declined to say what the studio's next project would be.
Sony shares listed in the United States closed at $25.07 on Monday.
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; editing by Andre Grenon)