Frontier Developments, maker of games in which you tinker with spaceships and games in which you tinker with race cars, has announced that it is acquiring Complex Games, the Canadian studio behind Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate — Daemonhunters. The deal is the first time Frontier has acquired a development studio, which is probably why it opted to buy one it had worked with before: Daemonhunters was published by Frontier Foundry, the company's publishing arm.
Beyond the boilerplate talk about enhancing portfolios and growth and expansion, Frontier's announcement of the acquisition is all about location, location, location. Picking up Complex Games will "create a core development footprint for Frontier in Manitoba, Canada," granting the company a toehold in "a region with an extensive and growing talent pool for videogame development."
Manitoba's a bit of a hotbed for games at the moment, in no small part due to the region's tax credit for game development. Ubisoft announced that it would triple its Winnipeg workforce earlier this year, and now Frontier is picking up a studio based there all the way from its headquarters in Cambridge in the UK.
Complex Games currently consists of a 20-person team, and the acquisition by Frontier is meant to enable the company to "develop even more ambitious future titles" in the years to come. Not to worry, though: the announcement is explicit that Complex's growth will occur "whilst nurturing Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters," so we'll hopefully avoid another furore like the one that broke out when it looked like Frontier was about to stop major updates to F1 Manager 2022.
It's hopefully good news for Complex, which holds the rare honour of making an actually good Warhammer 40K game—one that holds the #12 place on our own list of the Best Warhammer 40K games, in fact. We gave Daemonhunters 87% in our review, praising its "vivid, meaty art style that makes corrupted levels and enemy units ooze with character," and complimenting its smart mixture of Warhammer nonsense with XCOM-style tactics and strategy. If Frontier's ownership gets us more games like that, then I'm all for it.