Exciting news for the Northern Ireland game development scene as Hypixel Studios have been acquired by League of Legends developer Riot Games. Further, a new studio to oversee administration for the company and carry out QA testing is being set up in Derry.
Hypixel started out as a Minecraft server dedicated to minigames and community modding. From this the developers announced a voxel-based game called Hytale which had seen investment from a few sources including Riot Games. The announcement trailer has been seen almost 60 million times with a fantastical world and community servers promised, Hytale is an ambitious and alluring project. But it is also a sign that the whimsical aesthetics and nostalgic pull of Minecraft is a powerful source of enthusiasm among players to this day.
The popularity of Hytale has exploded since the trailer with 2.5 million sign-ups for the beta and being featured on the cover of Edge magazine in the UK, it’s no surprise that Hypixel has attracted interest from potential partner companies.
In a letter to the Hypixel community, co-founder Simon Collins-Laflamme commented that “Riot will become our parent company and we’ll gain access to their expertise and resources. This means a bigger budget for Hytale, more security for our team, and advisory support from a company that knows how to launch and operate successful, long-running games”.
The acquisition means a larger budget for Hytale and most importantly for the NI game development scene a new studio opening up in Northern Ireland. As part of the acquisition Aaron ‘Noxy’ Donaghey will step up as CEO of Hypixel and said of the new studio that it “is going to allow us to bring on support staff to help with the day to day running of the company, as well as a new QA team to assist with the ongoing development of Hytale.”
Vacancies are open to work both at the Derry office when it’s established and to work remotely with the studio. You can find job vacancies here.