Sony Online Entertainment has announced the formation of a new studio in Denver, Colorado, following the acquisition of "key assets" from online trading card game developer Worlds Apart Productions.
The firm has created numerous online versions of paper trading card games for properties including The Lord of the Rings online, Star Trek online, Star Chamber and more recently, NCsoft's vehicular MMO franchise, Auto Assault.
SOE views the acquisition as a means of expanding its gameplay offerings through the integration of card games within its existing online titles, in addition to the development and creation of entirely new properties.
SOE president John Smedley commented: "This is a way to expand SOE's business into a very attractive market that is consistently growing at a fast rate."
"With this acquisition, we've expanded the range of online games that SOE can offer, as well as offering entirely new play mechanics and activities that could be built into both current and future titles," he added.
Core staff from Worlds Apart will form the foundations of SOE's new Denver studio, working closely with Sony's live game development teams to discuss the most effective solution for the integration of its Collect! Trade! Play! (CTP) platform within existing SOE titles and for the creation of original properties in the future.
"The team here in Denver couldn't be more pleased to become part of the Sony family," commented Scott Martins, director of development, SOE-Denver. "We're really looking forward to building on the synergies between our team's technology and design experience and SOE's properties and infrastructure."