D3 Buys Dead Head Fred Developer

Publisher and developer D3Publisher of America has announced that it will be purchasing developer Vicious Cycle Software for an undisclosed sum. Vicious Cycle will now operate as a subsidiary of D3PA, with its current upper management and Chapel Hill, North Carolina location unaffected by the ownership shift.

D3PA previously handled the publishing of Vicious Cycle's past work, including its PSP version of Infinite Interactive's Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords and Flushed Away (PS2, GCN). The studio's next game, Dead Head Fred (PSP), is due out later this year. Vicious Cycle is also known for its Vicious Engine middleware, used by Totally Games in the upcoming Sega-published Alien Syndrome (Wii, PSP).

The move represents the first acquisition of a development studio by D3PA, itself a subsidiary of Japanese publisher and developer D3. D3PA is currently in the midst of a large push for the North American market, with releases such as Earth Defense Force 2017 (X360) and Puzzle Quest (NDS, PSP) garnering favorable reactions from the gaming community.

"Having worked with D3PA for the past few years, we know the company shares our passion for creative excellence and our commitment to quality," said Vicious Cycle president Eric Peterson. "We're thrilled to become a part of D3PA and we look forward to contributing our creative talents to D3PA's portfolio of innovative games."

"The addition of Vicious Cycle to D3PA marks our first acquistion of an internal developer and further strengthens our capabilities in delivering top quality games to the North American market," said D3PA executive VP and COO Yoji Takenaka. "Vicious Cycle's creative spirit and technical leadership are second to none and we're thrilled to have them join D3PA."