After an eventful few months, it seems that the studio once known as Crytek Black Sea will play a key supporting role in the Total War franchise going forward.
Sega Europe has announced its acquisition of Crytek Black Sea, a development team based in Bulgaria and comprised of sixty people. The studio will be used to bolster the resources of the RTS specialists at Creative Assembly, and as a result it’s being renamed Creative Assembly Sofia.
“The acquisition of Crytek Black Sea further enhances Sega Europe’s development capabilities and strengthens our ability to output diverse and engaging content for our IP,” said Jurgen Prost, president and COO of Sega Europe. “Creative Assembly Sofia will be working exclusively on content for Creative Assembly and will prove an invaluable asset given the multitude of unannounced titles currently in the works.”
In December 2016, Crytek announced plans to shutter five of its external studios amid reports of unpaid wages and other financial difficulties. Crytek Black Sea was among the list of developers set to get the chop, but shortly afterward it would reemerge as an independent entity.
Black Sea Games began looking for new talent in January 2017, but information listed on its website stated that the studio was established in November 2016. Whatever the sequence of events, the team has now been swallowed up by another major company, and has changed its name for the third time in three months.
The acquisition marks the next stage of an ongoing period of expansions for Creative Assembly. The studio has increased its staff by 37 percent over the last twelve months, and now employs over 500 people, according to a report from GamesIndustry.biz.
Creative Assembly’s most recent project was Halo Wars 2, which was released in February 2017 to a mixed response. However, the studio’s primary concern is its long-running Total War series, which is currently in the midst of a planned trilogy of games set in the Warhammer universe. Given the comments made by Prost, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Creative Assembly Sofia help the studio split its time between the Total War: Warhammer sub-series, and the franchise’s traditional historical fare.