After a decade in game development, N+ studio Slick Entertainment has been bought by Don't Starve developer Klei Entertainment, in what sounds like a very amicable acquisition. The three developers at Slick, which recently released co-op brawler Viking Squad, will join Klei as new employees and work on games under its banner.
Slick founder and programmer Nick Waanders detailed the move in a blog post, talking about how this will help the three-person team "concentrate on the fun part" of development, which is "making the games."
Waanders and Klei founder Jamie Cheng worked together at Relic Entertainment before Cheng left to start the studio that would go on to make games such as Mark of the Ninja and Don't Starve. As for Slick's origin, Cheng encouraged Waanders to form his own studio in order to take on development of N+ in cooperation with Metanet Software. And as is the case with many Vancouver-based indie developers, Slick and Klei have worked together on numerous projects over the years.
Waanders said that they'll "mainly be working on making great new games" at Klei," but will also continue to support Slick's existing games. Waanders told me that Klei has bought Slick, and therefore now owns all of the developer's games.
"I'd like to thank all of you for the decade of support," Waanders wrote to his studio's fans. "It’s been an amazing journey and we couldn’t have done it without you!"
As someone who has visited Slick and spoken with Waanders, Caley Charchuk, and Jesse Turner on many occasions, this is both sad and awesome news. On one hand, Slick has a specific style that I admire quite a bit, and was very much present in Viking Squad. However, Klei is a fantastic studio that's adding three very talented developers to its roster, and I'm excited to see them able to focus on creating games.
It'll be interesting to see how the former Slick developers are integrated into Klei, and what they end up working on next. Using Klei's past games as evidence, it seems like a fit for everyone.