Theme Park lead programmer sells AI start-up to Google for $400m

Theme Park lead programmer sells AI start-up to Google for $400m
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

January 27th 2014 at 10:34AM

Search giant snaps up London firm DeepMind

The co-designer and lead programmer on classic game Theme Park has sold his new AI start-up for $400 million (£242m).

DeepMind, set up by Demis Hassabis, was formed in 2011 and was working on creating learning algorithms for games, simulations and e-commerce.

As reported by Re/Code, the firm was snapped up by search engine giant Google, which has been acquiring a number of AI and robotics start-ups in recent years.

The web firm did not confirm how much it had spent on the London company, but it is believed to be in the region of $400 million (£242m)

Led by Hassabis and co-founders Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman, DeepMind is said to have a team of around 50 staff and had previously attracted $50m in funding.

As well as working on Theme Park at Bullfrog with Peter Molyneux, Hassabis has also worked as level designer on real-time tactical title Syndicate and Lionhead's Black & White.

He also founded London developer Elixir Studios in 1998, developing titles such as Republic: The Revolution and Evil Genius, before closing in 2005.