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X-Factor owner to acquire 80% of casual dev Ludia

FremantleMedia picks up another 51% of licensed game studio

FremantleMedia, which owns and produces the likes of X-Factor, American Idol, The Price Is Right and Neighbours, is to pick up a further 51 per cent stake in Canadian studio Ludia, Inc.

The deal will complete before the end of the year, and means Fremantle will own 80 per cent of the cross-platform developer.

Ludia has primarily developed licensed games based on TV shows (including Fremantle properties American Idol and The Price Is Right). Previous efforts have been on PC and console, but the studio is increasingly moving towards iOS and social games.

"After building a successful relationship over the last few years we are delighted to fully welcome [Ludia] into the FremantleMedia family," said FremantleMedia CEO Tony Cohen.

"Interactive gaming is an important way for FremantleMedia to diversify and this will increase our expertise and capability in this area, allowing both companies to develop even more successful consumer-facing entertainment across multiple platforms."

The Montreal developer's president and founder Alex Thabet will remain on, with Fremantle further promising that Ludia's management and existing deals won't be affected.

FremantleMedia's sprawling media presence also comprises TV production firms such as Grundy Television and Talkback Thames, and is itself part of the wider RTL Group, Europe's largest TV and radio broadcast company.

90 per cent of RTL, meanwhile is owned by German megacorp Bertelsmann AG, which also claims Random House.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.