Big Huge Games, the Baltimore-area studio behind the mobile strategy game DomiNations, has been acquired by Nexon Korea, the latter company announced today.
Nexon and Big Huge Games entered into a strategic partnership in July 2013, and Nexon published DomiNations on Android and iOS in April 2015. The companies "will provide long-term, comprehensive service of DomiNations, including game development, operations, user support and marketing," said Nexon in a press release today. In addition, Big Huge Games will continue to develop new content for the game, which has topped 19 million downloads worldwide, according to Nexon.
"We are thrilled to be joining forces with Big Huge Games," said Owen Mahoney, president and CEO of Nexon. "DomiNations has achieved great success in both the West and Asia, and we're excited to work with Big Huge Games to deliver the best quality gameplay to fans for years to come."
"We've had such a great relationship with Nexon on DomiNations, and we're very excited to become part of the family," said Tim Train, CEO of Big Huge Games.
It's been a long road to this point for the studio — a road with many twists, turns and bumps. Train and three other game industry veterans founded the original Big Huge Games in 2000. The studio developed multiple Rise of Nations games and other titles before its acquisition by THQ in January 2008. THQ announced in March 2009 that it planned to shut down Big Huge, but the company and many of its employees were picked up by 38 Studios in May 2009.
As a subsidiary of 38 Studios, Big Huge worked on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which was released in February 2012. 38 Studios shut down in May 2012 and laid off its entire staff, including the people at Big Huge. Some of the ex-Big Huge developers teamed up in 2013 as "SecretNewCo," including co-founders Train and Brian Reynolds. By the time they revealed their studio and DomiNations in late 2014, Reynolds had bought the rights to the Big Huge name at auction from the state of Rhode Island — the state had taken control of the name during 38 Studios' bankruptcy proceedings — and Big Huge Games was reborn.