Vancouver’s Big Sandwich Games acquired by Seattle’s Z2Live
Tyler Sigman, design director at Big Sandwich, said in an interview that they have been working on a project for Z2Live for some five months. “It was a chance for us to work together and make sure that there was a mutual fit,” he said on the phone from his Vancouver office.
Z2Live is the developer and publisher of social and mobile titles such as Battle Nations and MetalStorm. President and CEO David Bluhm said he was capitalizing on the “hotbed” of talented designers, artists, and producers that have experience working for larger console publishers.
“This is an ideal opportunity to be in the market and tap that talent, long-term,” he said in a phone interview. He said that while the traditional console industry might be “right sizing”, companies like his are growing in a different direction.
Making Big Sandwich a Canadian subsidiary of Z2Live is, Bluhm said, a “foot in the water” and he expects growth in Vancouver to echo what’s happened in Seattle.
Z2Live went from 11 to 71 employees in one year, and is now sitting at about 85. “We’re growing as fast as we can,” said Bluhm, who is announcing the acquisition of Big Sandwich at a DigiBC event today (February 23).
Bluhm said that he looked at a number of studios in Vancouver, and he still is. But Big Sandwich’s reputation for high-quality games and their leadership team were, he said, appealing.
Big Sandwich was formed in 2006 by Glenn Barnes, Peter Holubowicz, and Cory Lake, all of who are still with the company. Barnes and Sigman will manage Z2Live Games Vancouver as executive producers.
Sigman said that the studio will shift to focus on mobile and iOS development. In addition to the original project, the studio is in the process of developing a second game. “We’d like to see two iOS games out of this studio in a calendar year,” he said. As such, he expects it to grow from 12 to about 25 employees in the near term.