Visual Concepts Entertainment is an American video game developer based in Novato, California. Founded in May 1988, the company is best known for sport games in the 2K franchise. Visual Concepts was acquired by Sega in May 1999 and subsequently sold to Take-Two Interactive in January 2005. The acquisition of the company led Take-Two Interactive to open their 2K Games label, as well as its 2K Sports division, on the following day, which Visual Concepts became immediately part of.
|Industry||Video game industry|
|Headquarters||Novato, California, United States|
|Greg Thomas (President)|
Visual Concepts operates two satellite studios: Visual Concepts Korea in Seoul, South Korea, which was established in 2011, and Visual Concepts China in Shanghai, China. A former subsidiary, Kush Games, was split from Visual Concepts and became directly managed under 2K Sports in February 2007, when it became 2K Los Angeles, before being shut down in 2008.
Visual Concepts was founded in May 1988. In 1992, the handheld arm of the company run by industry vetran Cary Hammer got spun off from the company and renamed to Unexpected Development. On January 25, 1995, Electronic Arts acquired a stake in the company. In September 1997, Sega announced their intentions to acquire the company; the deal was closed on May 18, 1999, and Visual Concepts switched ownership for an undisclosed sum. Following a June 2004 deal between Sega and Take-Two Interactive, wherein the two would co-publish and distribute titles in Visual Concepts' ESPN-based game series, rumors started spreading in December 2004, which suggested that Take-Two Interactive was planning to acquire Visual Concepts from Sega. On January 24, 2005, Take-Two Interactive announced to have completed a transaction of US$24 million to Sega for the acquisition of Visual Concepts, its subsidiary Kush Games, and the intellectual property to the 2K franchise. The publisher's 2006 Form 10-K filing later showed that a total of US$32.2 million had been paid to Sega for the acquisition of Visual Concepts and affiliate properties by January 2006. On January 25, 2005, the day following the acquisition, Take-Two Interactive announced their new publishing label, 2K Games, and its 2K Sports division, the latter of which would henceforth manage Visual Concepts and Kush Games.
A March 2009 research study on Metacritic scores, conducted by GameQuarry, ranked Visual Concepts as the number one "most consistent" video game developer on the review aggregator website, with 50 out of their 72 games at the time having received an aggregated review score of 80/100 or higher. In August 2010, Visual Concepts laid off 30 employees due to "the need for resource alignment and better efficiency".
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- Bennett, Colette (August 16, 2010). "NBA 2K11 Developer Visual Concepts Lays Off 30 Employees". Gamasutra. Retrieved February 17, 2018.