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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Bigpoint Takes Over Radon Labs, Confirms Drakensang 3

Default Bigpoint Takes Over Radon Labs, Confirms Drakensang 3

June 1st, 2010, 17:26
In a surprising move the browser game giant Bigpoint (Bigpoint.com game portal) announced the acquisition of the insolvent Drakensang developer Radon Labs. Here's the full PR (bold print acc. to source, underlines added).
Bigpoint Acquires Highly Acclaimed Game Development Studio, Radon Labs; Establishes Bigpoint Berlin GmbH
  • Acquisition includes over 35 employees from Radon Labs
  • eLOFD GmbH to be renamed Bigpoint Berlin GmbH; expansion planned
  • Drakensang 3 presumably to be launched in 2011
Hamburg, 1st June, 2010Bigpoint GmbH (http://bigpoint.com), the worldwide leader in browser-based video games, today announced the acquisition of Radon Labs (http://radonlabs.de), an award-winning game development studio that recently filed for bankruptcy due to financial concerns. With this acquisition, Bigpoint gains more than 35 new employees, including Radon Labs Managing Directors Bernd Beyreuther and André Blechschmidt, who will remain with Bigpoint and direct its newly established Berlin office.

Bigpoint CEO and Founder, Heiko Hubertz, views the deal as an important strategic move for the company, “Under Bernd and André’s leadership, Radon Labs became one of Germany’s top three development studios. We’re excited to add their highly qualified workforce to Bigpoint as we continue to push the limits of what’s possible in online gaming. This acquisition is also greater proof that the market continues to consolidate. As such, we plan to purchase additional studios, both in Germany and abroad, to support our long-term growth strategy.”

2010 marks an important year for Bigpoint’s global expansion, with new locations now operational in Berlin and San Francisco (Bigpoint Inc.), in addition to Malta (Bigpoint International) and the company’s headquarters in Hamburg. In recent months, Bigpoint’s workforce has increased to over 500 employees worldwide.

Bigpoint Berlin GmbH Opens
Since its founding in 1995, Radon Labs became known as one of the best game development studios in Germany, developing more than 20 PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and NDS titles that garnered over a dozen awards. The Berlin-based company’s most popular games are its first two Drakensang titles. In keeping with Bigpoint’s focus, Drankensang 3 – the next installment from the extremely successful fantasy RPG series – will be released in 2011.

Bigpoint’s acquisition of Radon Labs coincides with the opening of a new office in Berlin, a decision that first took root in 2009 with Bigpoint’s acquisition of eLOFD GmbH, a game development studio also based in Germany’s capital. The new location officially took the name Bigpoint Berlin GmbH at the end of May 2010. Under the Bigpoint brand, former eLOFD employees will continue to develop browser-based video games alongside their new colleagues from Radon Labs.
The real surprise is the Drakensang 3 announcement. It's unclear as of now if Bigpoint really intents to branch out into the full price retail game business. Another possibility would be that it could only be an adequate farewell for Radon Labs and their The Dark Eye project negotiated into the acquisition contract. Time will tell. What's clear though is that Bigpoint has enough money behind to stem Drakensang 3 alone, including international distribution. Maybe Bigpoint even is even planning a DSA browser MMO, but that's pure speculation.
More information.
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June 1st, 2010, 17:26
Let's speculate a bit.

Radon Labs brings to the table:
- 35+ qualified devs
- studio infrastructure for 100 people
- a lot of experience and a proven track record
- stable multi-platform technology (Nebula)
- the DSA offline party RPG license (the licenses are split!)
- a deep knowledge of RPG mechanics

Bigpoint wants:
- a lot of qualified employees … (-> they are always searching!)
- … especially in Berlin
- ramp up their internal development capacity
Filling 35+ positions at once in Berlin probably a perfect fit.
- Maybe they also wanted the DSA license.

Drakensang 3:
- offline or online? RL's license hints it's offline, but there is no confirmation about it yet. The licensor Chromatrix is well known to be quite flexible if the business prospects look promising.
- Will Bigpoint make a TDE browser MMO? Possible. In the given constellation even likely.
- If Drakensang 3 is a normal retail product, what happens after it? Impossible to say. The technology announcement should give a hint. If RL has to recycle Drakensang 1 & 2 again it means DraSa 3 (plus the inevitable add-on) will be the end. If an investment into new technology has been made we may see a quick DraSa 4. Other platforms are possible, even multiple products online and offline.


Radon Labs:
- It seems RL is really the new Bigpoint Berlin. The RL management will lead it and the other studio will be integrated. Otherwise it wouldn't make sense to keep the studio heads.
- The old strength of ca 100 devs will probably be reached again relatively quickly. Bigpoint is growing fast and RL had a reputation as a highly efficient studio.
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June 1st, 2010, 17:30
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Radon Labs:
- It seems RL is really the new Bigpoint Berlin. The RL management will lead it and the other studio will be integrated. Otherwise it wouldn't make sense to keep the studio heads.
That's my impression as well.

Another speculation : An TDE MMO …

WOW shows this can be successful, Bigpoint is big in online games (although so far only browser based) … Plus, TDE is quite a big trade mark here in Germany …

Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
- If Drakensang 3 is a normal retail product, what happens after it? Impossible to say. The technology announcement should give a hint. If RL has to recycle Drakensang 1 & 2 again it means DraSa 3 (plus the inevitable add-on) will be the end. If an investment into new technology has been made we may see a quick DraSa 4. Other platforms are possible, even multiple products online and offline.
I could imagine Larian making an TDE game … That's my very personal opinion … There might be other development companies better suited for it, but that's what I think … They have imho proven to be able to make good games - from a technical perspective.
The only problem would be to make it non-action … If anyone still believes in non-action games at all …
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June 1st, 2010, 17:59
Please don't make me cry with talks of MMO. Please!

I just like to be able to actually enjoy my Personal Edition of Drakensang, and this news brings me great hope. Though I still think that a long term plan for me would be to just bite the bullet, and learn German… (any advices? )

About the news though, how is Bigpoint's track record?
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June 1st, 2010, 18:03
If English is your natural languge, then learning German isn't that bad. Plus, you could also read Mark Twain's article on "the awful German language":

Try newspapers, for example. For a first glance into German language they're sufficient, I guess …
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June 1st, 2010, 18:05
Well…that was surprising! It'll be interesting to see how this goes, as even the browser-based space is prime to evolve pretty quickly amidst the likes of the upcoming version of Unity3D and so forth.

IIRC, wasn't there something of a browser DraSa game that was out alongside the first one? Some side-story or prequel or some such…
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June 1st, 2010, 18:29
Originally Posted by leth View Post
About the news though, how is Bigpoint's track record?
Bigpoint says they are running the 3rd biggest gaming portal in the world. It has 124.283.143 registered users.
They're a global player in the browser game world. Latest project: Battlestar Galactica Online.
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June 1st, 2010, 18:30
Originally Posted by getter77 View Post
IIRC, wasn't there something of a browser DraSa game that was out alongside the first one? Some side-story or prequel or some such…
Yes, there was.

This is about Drakensang 1 : http://www.tde-games.com/

This is about Drakensang 2 : http://www.dsa-games.de/

All games (in German) (only their title screens) : http://www.chromatrix.com/html/titelbilder.html

Sorry, but I don't know any *direct* link towards the games.

I assume one has to log in before that.
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June 1st, 2010, 19:09
… Just thought about how much Bigpoint actually knows about marketing … ?
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June 1st, 2010, 19:14
Thanks for the info. Not sure how I feel about publisher that is primarily focused on browser games. I really hope they let RL develop games in their own ways, and not strong arm RL into MMO or browser games…

Off topic:

As much as I love Mark Twain's work, I have a feeling that reading that article would not help motivate me to learn German.

English is actually my second language, that has now become my primary language. My native language is actually Chinese. And going from that to English was an "interesting" experience.
The whole "gender is attached to every noun" aspect of German actually sounds pretty interesting to me. Can the gender attachments ever be changed? Or are they set in stone?

Sorry for the OT. It just seems that, if I were to hope to keep my passion for PC games alive, I really need to learn at least German, and Russian… (or I can just accept the fact that games should only be about fancy graphics, violence and boobs and spoon feed gamers everything…)
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June 1st, 2010, 20:28
I totally agree, leth. Who needs violence, graphics or spoon feeding?
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June 1st, 2010, 20:37
Rejoice.
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June 1st, 2010, 20:58
Wow, they even have Finnish site localization for the site: http://fi.bigpoint.com/

I hope they do better job in marketing than DTP ever did.
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June 1st, 2010, 21:03
Huzzah, they live!

But what about an english version of drakensang 2?
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June 1st, 2010, 21:12
Well, there's that "everything's good" reply by dtp Betty. Which means that the English version is seemingly without much hindrance.
If it is true. Personally, I rather tend to treart it as a rumor, although I trust her (I know her from several occations, actually).
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June 1st, 2010, 21:20
Originally Posted by leth View Post
The whole "gender is attached to every noun" aspect of German actually sounds pretty interesting to me. Can the gender attachments ever be changed? Or are they set in stone?
Yes. But there are additional words to create a neutral formulation of sentences.

To me, it's more natural to write a female wolf as "Wölfin" than the English "She-Wolf". The term of "she-wolf" wouldn't be understood by most Germans, even in the translation, because "she" is usually translated as "sie", meaning "her".
A "she-wolf" more correctly translated, as far as I think, would be to say a "weiblicher Wolf", which would be in English a "female wolf".

That's just as an example of how complicated things might be.

Pesonally, I found the total lack of articles in the Russian language far more disturbing … - But I only learned about the Russian language what a friend of mine told me … almost 10 years ago now … I think in this language there's also the aspect of connecting/attaching the gender to nouns as well … I think (although I'm not sure anymore), even more complicated …
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June 1st, 2010, 22:29
Well, good news, considering the circumstances. Certainly for the devs, who have a job for the time being. Hopefully also for us.
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June 1st, 2010, 22:45
Yep, let's hope it turns into a good RPG for the PC, too!
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June 1st, 2010, 23:19
better this than no DS3 at all. And I would welcome a TDE MMO (well I like MMOs in general).
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June 2nd, 2010, 01:07
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Interesting German facts
Thanks much! Now could you please help translate Drakensang River of Time please And while you are at it, translate Venetica too please.

On a more On topic note, I was always under the impressing that RL actually wasn't doing bad, in term of sales, at all. Unless their financial backers wanted more sales from the contar… console crowd…
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