Take-Two Interactive acquires HookBang to bolster game development

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Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., in an NBA 2K update statement, revealed on their website that they have acquired Austin, Texas-based HookBang LLC, a studio and partner on the latest edition of the company’s NBA 2K series, bolstering a key franchise for the video-game giant. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquired studio “will operate from a to-be-announced new location in the Austin, Texas metropolitan area” that will employ hundreds of staffers focused on platform development and live-services support for the NBA game. Last week, an exclusive, long-term partnership was signed by Take-Two for golf games with Tiger Woods.

“We build interactive amusement parks,” David Ismailer, president of 2K, said in an interview, according to Bloomberg. “Any time I can add developer resources to create a new ride, we take the opportunity to do that.”

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“Stay tuned for more announcements from us,” Ismailer said. “We are always looking for development talent.”

Founded in 2012 as a solutions-based collective of engineers, HookBang has been working with 2K’s Visual Concepts to provide art, design, and engineering support for NBA 2K21. HookBang will become part of Visual Concepts under the new name of Visual Concepts Austin.

“Working with a studio as prominent as Visual Concepts on NBA 2K21 was an extraordinary opportunity for HookBang,” said Frank Roan, CEO at HookBang. “Formally joining Visual Concepts and 2K allows us to accelerate our impact on the product, the company, and the Austin development community.”

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As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the introduction of new gaming consoles such as Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X last year, Take-Two and other game publishers have been enjoying a major revenue surge, leading to more hiring and acquisitions. Take-Two also had plans to acquire the racing-game developer Codemasters and made attempts as well, however, that company eventually went to Electronic Arts Inc.

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