ONE of the biggest video game companies in the world has bought and rebranded an independent Scottish company.

Dundee-based Ruffian Games has been acquired by Rockstar Games, the multi-billion pound company behind the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption franchises.

Ruffian Games will now be known as Rockstar Dundee, joining Edinburgh’s Rockstar North, Rockstar London, Rockstar Toronto, Rockstar San Diego and others in a portfolio worth an estimated $3.5 billion (£2.7bn).

The two companies had already been working together for at least a year, after Ruffian posted job listings for engineers to work on “unspecified titles” for Rockstar Games in late 2019.

Since its founding in 2008 by Gary Liddon, Billy Thomson and Gareth Noyce, Ruffian has worked on AAA games such as Crackdown 2 and Halo’s Master Chief collection.

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On October 1, 2020, the company officially changed directors, with Rowan Marc Sayed Hajaj and Daniel Peter Emerson, who together run Rockstar International Limited, taking the helm.

Though they took a reported 75% controlling stake, the amount paid has not been made public.

Five days later, on October 6, the name was officially changed to Rockstar Dundee.

Rockstar Games turned Grand Theft Auto (GTA), originally made by DMA Design in Dundee and launched in 1997, into the highest grossing piece of media of all-time.

GTA V, the latest game in the series, has made over $6 billion (£4.6bn) since its release in September 2013.

DMA Dundee was founded by local David Jones in 1987. It was renamed Rockstar North in 2001 after being acquired by the New York-based Take-Two Interactive.

Rockstar Dundee has been approached for comment.