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View Full Version : Square Enix smells Eidos' blood in the waters, makes a takeover bid


Excitemike
12-04-2008, 08:49 AM
From MCV (http://www.mcvuk.com/news/32578/Square-makes-late-Eidos-bid-but-Warner-in-pole-position):

Although national press reports have fingered EA and Ubisoft as potential buyers, nose-tappers are backing Warner as the victor. It already owns 20 per cent of the Britsoft firm, and would only have to spend around $30m for a controlling interest. A spend of around $80m would give it total control, putting Eidos’ current market value at around $120m.

Eidos last month relaxed restrictions on Warner that would otherwise stop it buying more shares.

However, Square is making clear signals of serious interest. Global president Yoichi Wada has already visited Denmark's IO Studio – Eidos’ developer of the Hitman franchise – and is set to return to the UK shortly to move the deal forward.

They predict Eidos will probably go to Warner Bros, but feel free to speculate. Tomb Raider Monsters

TheSL
12-04-2008, 08:51 AM
What.

This makes as little sense as the Tecmo thing earlier in the year.

Excitemike
12-04-2008, 08:53 AM
They want a bigger piece of the Western market. Makes sense to me, considering that state of Japanese development.

Zef
12-04-2008, 08:55 AM
Hitman Tactics.

You know you want it.

pence
12-04-2008, 08:57 AM
Maybe Koei can snap this one up, too - Tomb Raider Warriors is exactly the kind of terrible game that would sell a million copies.

Dadgum Roi
12-04-2008, 08:57 AM
This is nothing. Someone bought a controlling stake in Midway earlier this week for a veggie burrito and a diet coke.

TheSL
12-04-2008, 09:00 AM
They want a bigger piece of the Western market. Makes sense to me, considering that state of Japanese development.

I would think it would make as much sense to just open up a western development branch and hire Americans/Europeans as it would be to try to salvage the corpse of another company. But I guess maybe Tomb Raider and whatever rotting franchises collecting dust around Eidos HQ are worth the extra money?

alexb
12-04-2008, 09:00 AM
Wait. Their games suck, so they buy Eidos to fix the problem? I'm confused.

Excitemike
12-04-2008, 09:03 AM
I would think it would make as much sense to just open up a western development branch and hire Americans/Europeans as it would be to try to salvage the corpse of another company. But I guess maybe Tomb Raider and whatever rotting franchises collecting dust around Eidos HQ are worth the extra money?

Having an experienced staff in place is also valuable.

fanboymaster
12-04-2008, 09:07 AM
This is nothing. Someone bought a controlling stake in Midway earlier this week for a veggie burrito and a diet coke.

They got fleeced, I think the heads at Midway would have taken a hard roll with ketchup on it.

Andrew
12-04-2008, 09:13 AM
What.

This makes as little sense as the Tecmo thing earlier in the year.

Square wants to make Dead Fantasy, the game!

Brer
12-04-2008, 09:23 AM
I would think it would make as much sense to just open up a western development branch and hire Americans/Europeans as it would be to try to salvage the corpse of another company. But I guess maybe Tomb Raider and whatever rotting franchises collecting dust around Eidos HQ are worth the extra money?

I'm not so sure. Eidos has at least some competent people there. I didn't like DX:IW or T:DS as followups to their respective series, for example, but they did alright critically and commercailly. That would seem to indicate that Eidos Montreal is worth keeping around, although I don't know how much cachet the Deus Ex and Thief IPs have outside of PC gamers like myself.

As far as IP goes, Crystal Dynamics (if it's part of the deal) also brings Legacy of Kain, not just Tomb Raider. Once you add in IO Interactive and Hitman, there's some decent talent there.

alexb
12-04-2008, 09:34 AM
Look forward to them threatening outlets that don't give the latest FF remake or spin-off greater than 80% ratings.

ArugulaZ
12-04-2008, 09:40 AM
They got fleeced, I think the heads at Midway would have taken a hard roll with ketchup on it.

Oh goodie! That means Sumner Redstone will die from bonitus shortly!

All seriousness aside, I've been hearing that the investor who bought Midway did it just to gut the company and sell all its franchises to healthier companies. If this actually comes to pass (and it could- Atari is already set to distribute the next Ready 2 Rumble Boxing), be prepared to buy your next Mortal Kombat game from Electronic Arts.

Patrick
12-04-2008, 10:15 AM
They got fleeced, I think the heads at Midway would have taken a hard roll with ketchup on it.

Oh goodie! That means Sumner Redstone will die from bonitus shortly!
beat me to it.

All seriousness aside, I've been hearing that the investor who bought Midway did it just to gut the company and sell all its franchises to healthier companies. If this actually comes to pass (and it could- Atari is already set to distribute the next Ready 2 Rumble Boxing), be prepared to buy your next Mortal Kombat game from Electronic Arts.

It would have to be my first Mortal Kombat game, and I find it highly unlikely that I will ever have to be prepared for that.

onimaruxlr
12-04-2008, 10:22 AM
Hmmm.

Nomura-designed Lara Croft in the next Tomb Raider game.

HmmmMMmMMMmmmMM...

alexb
12-04-2008, 10:25 AM
Oh yeah. Pointy ass chin, belts and zippers everywhere, and hips like a ten-year-old boy!

onimaruxlr
12-04-2008, 10:31 AM
hey i said "Hmmm" not "mmm-hmm"

Loki
12-04-2008, 10:31 AM
I could see it.

Alastor
12-04-2008, 10:36 AM
Look forward to them threatening outlets that don't give the latest FF remake or spin-off greater than 80% ratings.

Shit like that is what made me lose what little interest in Eidos I already had. Did the higher-ups decide they didn't disgust enough people with the Kane and Lynch disaster?

Dadgum Roi
12-04-2008, 10:41 AM
Oh yeah. Pointy ass chin, belts and zippers everywhere, and hips like a ten-year-old boy!

I'd play the next Kane and Lynch game if it adhered to this aesthetic.

Parish
12-04-2008, 10:49 AM
yay Lara Croft vs. Lightning in FF Dissidia II I can't wait

pence
12-04-2008, 11:15 AM
I was thinking something along the lines of Lara riding the Shiva motorcycle.

ArugulaZ
12-04-2008, 11:17 AM
It would have to be my first Mortal Kombat game, and I find it highly unlikely that I will ever have to be prepared for that.

Nothing... NOTHING will prepare you!
(obscure?)

Parish
12-04-2008, 11:30 AM
I was thinking something along the lines of Lara riding the Shiva motorcycle.

The Shiva motorcycle is actually two Shivas practically making out, so maybe Lara could be half the motorcycle as part of Square's efforts to incorporate every aspect of Eidos into itself, including its marketing standards circa 1998. I like my vidyagames classy.

Zef
12-04-2008, 12:21 PM
maybe Lara could be half the motorcycle

I gotta go bleach my brain now. http://www.the-weaving.com/images/temp/emot-gonk.gif

Sven
12-04-2008, 12:27 PM
This is an example of how Parish's knowledge could so very easily be used for evil. No one needed to think about that.

Anyway... I'm trying to think of what other faded 90s icons Square could acquire to boost its profile in the west. Is 989 Sports still around?

alexb
12-04-2008, 12:30 PM
I think Eidos ate all the other washouts from the '90s already.

Jeanie
12-04-2008, 12:33 PM
Is 989 Sports still around?

Owned by Sony, I think.

TheSL
12-04-2008, 12:33 PM
Whatever happened to Acclaim? Did some company eat them or did they just go bankrupt?

Sven
12-04-2008, 12:35 PM
Just realised something:

This would mean that Square now has control over Deus Ex 3. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing, given what came out a couple of months ago regarding the game's direction.

Parish
12-04-2008, 12:36 PM
Acclaim went bankrupt. Someone bought their name for cheap and now uses it to publish MMOs.

ArugulaZ
12-04-2008, 12:40 PM
Kind of funny how the larger the video game industry becomes, the more video game companies go out of business. Are we headed for five big players just like the film and television business?

alexb
12-04-2008, 12:41 PM
Pretty obviously, yes.

Parish
12-04-2008, 12:58 PM
Yes, and music. That writing has been on the wall for ages.

Sven
12-04-2008, 12:59 PM
Kind of funny how the larger the video game industry becomes, the more video game companies go out of business. Are we headed for five big players just like the film and television business?

Depends on how much venture capital is floating out there. We're obviously going to go through a period of consolidation in the next couple of years, like what was happening in the early 90s on the PC side of things, but after that you had all the startups during the tech boom. All depends on whether the CliffyBs and Will Wrights of the world - designers with name value who are generally tied to larger publishers - can attract funding for their start-up enterprises. But it's a big, big difference from when, say, Sid Meier left Micropose to start Firaxis.

taidan
12-04-2008, 01:00 PM
A delusional publisher with no fans meets a publisher with delusional fans.

Match made in heaven.

ArugulaZ
12-04-2008, 01:14 PM
Depends on how much venture capital is floating out there. We're obviously going to go through a period of consolidation in the next couple of years, like what was happening in the early 90s on the PC side of things, but after that you had all the startups during the tech boom. All depends on whether the CliffyBs and Will Wrights of the world - designers with name value who are generally tied to larger publishers - can attract funding for their start-up enterprises. But it's a big, big difference from when, say, Sid Meier left Micropose to start Firaxis.

The problem is that a lot of the big brains in the video game industry form startups, only to sell them to large corporations shortly after they're formed. Case in point: Peter Molyneaux. After selling Bullfrog to Electronic Arts, he started Lionhead... and immediately sold that to Microsoft. Makes me wonder why he even bothered to start a second company if all he was going to do is work for another corporate titan.

Brer
12-04-2008, 01:15 PM
Are we headed for five big players just like the film and television business?

Probably to some extent, although I don't think it will ever become AS consolidated as TV and Film. Both have higher production costs (Even a low-budget TV series' budget could produce a fair number of mid-range games) and a more limited market (TV studios have to sell to networks with limited space for new material each year, Film studios have to sell to a limited, if much larger, number of screens, etc).

That said, even if we do end up with only a half-dozen or so big publishers, I don't think that's the death of gaming because there'll always be the opportunity to set up "indie" sub-brands/imprints/etc and poach off other countries' creative communities.

A delusional publisher with no fans meets a publisher with delusional fans.

Match made in heaven.

Hey, I don't know about y'all but I like the Hitman series, for starters, and I'm actually interested to see what Eidos Montreal has planned for DX3 and possibly another Thief. Of those, only the Hitman games seem to be steadily improving, but still...

TheSL
12-04-2008, 01:17 PM
Case in point: Peter Molyneaux. After selling Bullfrog to Electronic Arts, he started Lionhead... and immediately sold that to Microsoft. Makes me wonder why he even bothered to start a second company if all he was going to do is work for another corporate titan.

Probably because he can make as much or more money selling established development companies than he can making the games themselves?

Brer
12-04-2008, 01:21 PM
Makes me wonder why he even bothered to start a second company if all he was going to do is work for another corporate titan.

Because for some people that IS their preferred business model: Start a company, get it successful enough to sell at a profit, work for new corporate overlord for a few years while laying groundwork for next new company, then quit and take some of your profits from that last sale to create a new startup. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I don't know if Molyneaux's the type, but others certainly are. Case in point, Jordan Weisman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan_Weisman)...which reminds me, what the hell is Smith & Tinker up to anyway?

Sven
12-04-2008, 01:22 PM
Yeah, the "startup, then sell" approach seems to be the closest thing in video games to a get-rich-quick scheme.

It's just basic capitalism, really - except that the bigger companies usually wind up being screwed in the transaction when it becomes obvious that the designer (a) has used all their good ideas already or (b) is saving their ideas for their NEXT start-up.

Dadgum Roi
12-04-2008, 01:48 PM
The problem is that a lot of the big brains in the video game industry form startups, only to sell them to large corporations shortly after they're formed. Case in point: Peter Molyneaux. After selling Bullfrog to Electronic Arts, he started Lionhead... and immediately sold that to Microsoft. Makes me wonder why he even bothered to start a second company if all he was going to do is work for another corporate titan.

Smart move on Molyneux's part. He makes a shitload of money off each sale, while losing nothing of value, because he'll always be Peter Molyneux.

Ample Vigour
12-04-2008, 02:28 PM
Smart move on Molyneux's part. He makes a shitload of money off each sale, while losing nothing of value, because he'll always be Peter Molyneux.

Take home message: As long as there is a Cockney accent, Peter Molyneux will make money.

BEAT
12-04-2008, 04:24 PM
Hmmm.

Nomura-designed Lara Croft in the next Tomb Raider game.

HmmmMMmMMMmmmMM...No.

liquid
12-05-2008, 12:32 PM
Maybe now they will make Fear Effect 3!

Shut up, I can dream.

Anonymooo
12-05-2008, 12:47 PM
Hitman Tactics.

You know you want it.You have no idea just how long I spent on each individual Hitman game.

If this were portable, I swear to God I would never pay attention to anything else ever again.

On-topic: I'm as baffled as the rest of you. I wonder if this will get Square fanboys to shut up about how much uncompromising artistic integrity Square has.

Stiv
12-05-2008, 09:46 PM
I would think it would make as much sense to just open up a western development branch and hire Americans/Europeans as it would be to try to salvage the corpse of another company.

Surprise! Square is already doing this, they're apparently opening up a dev office in California (again). I don't have the reference handy but they've actually put up job postings for it so this is the Real Deal.

But it's smart for them to buy an established western publisher anyway. Eidos probably isn't the best choice, considering that all of their games suck, but it's for sale and it would give them a label to publish games specifically designed for western audiences. Or they could use it as a label to put on Tomb Raider vs. The Bouncer.

SilentSnake
02-12-2009, 10:44 AM
So I guess this is still happening. And progressing! (http://kotaku.com/5152117/square-enix-trying-to-buy-tomb-raider)

widdershins
02-12-2009, 12:09 PM
I would think it would make as much sense to just open up a western development branch and hire Americans/Europeans as it would be to try to salvage the corpse of another company. But I guess maybe Tomb Raider and whatever rotting franchises collecting dust around Eidos HQ are worth the extra money?

I know people have weighed in on this already but, I think it also needs to be pointed out that the last time Square tried to do that they got the spirits within. They also got Evermore, which was actually good, but the only people who gave a shit about RPGs in that point in time didn't WANT games to attempt to target an American audience.

Azar
02-12-2009, 12:23 PM
I think this could actually be pretty cool. The last two Tomb Raider games have been valiant attempts at resurrecting the franchise and turning it into something respectable. If Square took the mechanics of those games and made a good action-rpg, they could really have something.

Brer
02-12-2009, 12:27 PM
They also got Evermore, which was actually good, but the only people who gave a shit about RPGs in that point in time didn't WANT games to attempt to target an American audience.

The Spirits Within was not (or at least not only) a failure because it was written by western talent. It was directed by a guy with zero directorial experience (Sakaguchi) and the budget was of a scale that only massive blockbuster status could have saved them. And let's be honest, who had any illusions that a Final Fantasy-branded movie was going to be a blockbuster? Anyway, short version is that it wasn't a failure to merge "eastern" and "western" talent, it was just a plain old bad idea to spend that much money on that kind of movie (yeah, I know, it sucks to say that, but them's the breaks). File with The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Howard the Duck.

Anyway, whether this is good news or bad news remains to be seen. I'd point out that there's a precedent for really good things coming out of western developers teaming up with eastern publishers. Bionic Commando: Re-Armed springs to mind. Right now I'm just hoping that there will be at least one more Hitman game. It's one of the few series where I can say that each sequel has been a distinct improvement over the last.

taidan
02-12-2009, 12:45 PM
Brer- I tend to think of Deus Ex and Hitman in regards to the people behind them. Which I suppose happens all the time, but I suppose it is a sign that eidos doesn't do much to distinguish themselves as a group that ships the following products, at least compared to EA or Activision.

Also, when I said "has no fans", I should have described it better. What I partly meant is that their antics have made many folks grow to have a distaste for them.

Brer
02-12-2009, 04:09 PM
Brer- I tend to think of Deus Ex and Hitman in regards to the people behind them.

True. The first time this thread popped up, I had to look it up to learn that io interactive was actually owned -by- Eidos and wasn't an independent developer.

LBD_Nytetrayn
02-13-2009, 12:47 AM
I'm glad Eidos is for this, maybe it won't hog the headlines like EA/Take-Two did last year.

--LBD "Nytetrayn"