Microsoft to buy game maker BigPark

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gestures during a talk to students at Stanford University, as part of the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders program, in Palo Alto, California May 6, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it will buy computer game designer BigPark Inc for an undisclosed amount, as it pushes its strategy of producing exclusive games for its Xbox entertainment system.

Microsoft has already been working with Vancouver, Canada-based BigPark over the past year on a game for the Xbox, but has so far announced no details. More information is expected at the video game industry’s annual E3 Expo in June.

BigPark, founded in 2007 by former executives of Electronic Arts Inc and Distinctive Software Inc, will become part of Microsoft Game Studios.

One of BigPark’s co-founders, Don Mattrick, became senior vice president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business in July 2007.

Microsoft shares were down 53 cents at $19.25 on Nasdaq.

Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing Bernard Orr