Vivendi Games has purchased Seattle-based Secret Lair Studios and their affiliate Studio Ch'in from China. The new Sierra divisions will create games for Xbox Live Arcade and help with larger Sierra projects.
Sierra, a Vivendi Games company, has acquired Secret Lair Studios and their China branch, pending approval from the Chinese government. This marks one of the first acquisitions of a developer primarily for the Xbox Live Arcade development, which is quickly becoming a more expensive proposition as time goes on. The new companies will be renamed to Sierra Online - Seattle and Sierra Online - Shanghai.
Secret Lair Studios had licensed the BigWorld MMO engine for an unannounced game back in October, 2005. The company gave a firm "no comment" when asked if the title was at all impacted by the purchase. Secret Lair Studios, now Sierra Online - Seattle, is currently working on Carcassonne for Xbox Live Arcade and a number of other Live Arcade titles.