BioWare/Pandemic going public?

The <i>New York Times</i> reports that John Riccitiello plans on floating the new superdeveloper on the stock market.

Last month, the game industry was rocked by news that two top independent developers, BioWare and Pandemic Studios, were merging. The news was especially unsettling because it aimed to circumvent the traditional publisher-developer relationship by the infusion of outside funds. The funds in question came courtesy of Elevation Partners, the Silicon Valley venture-capital outfit, which engaged in a bidding war with SCi Games for Tomb Raider publisher Eidos Interactive earlier this year.

The BioWare/Pandemic deal was brokered by former Electronic Arts president John Riccitiello, who sits on the diverse Elevation Partners board, which includes Bono, lead singer of the rock band U2. He told the New York Times the old way of doing business runs the risk of "leaving game companies frustrated, consumers frustrated and gamers frustrated." He said the goal of the new BioWare/Pandemic business model was to give the newly joined studios more creative control, which would make for better games.

Riccitiello, who is also CEO of BioWare/Pandemic Studios, told the Times he plans on turning the new superdeveloper into a publicly traded company. His thoughts were echoed by Pandemic president Josh Resnick, who told GameSpot that he hopes his new company will be like a game version of computer-animation powerhouse Pixar, which remains independent from major film studios.

However, game-industry analysts are very skeptical of the deal. "They don't have any chance of success," said Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities, who said investors prefer larger media multinationals to smaller, purely creative companies.

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18 comments
chrisdojo
chrisdojo

they have quite a hill to climb if they're going mainstream....

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I'm a fan of the merger, but I don't think going the route of public trading is such a smart idea.

NeoJedi
NeoJedi

The alliance sounds interesting indeed, but they should not go public just yet. I'd say wait until 1-2 games are released and see the success or failure of these.

mutenpika
mutenpika

I hope beyond hope this works. Bioware games curently hold 5 of the slots of my top 10 favorite games. Baldurs Gate > FFVII

ZEELIX
ZEELIX

if they can pull out style and creativity for bout 3 realy good games that could have sequels theyll be fine..... yah right like that'll happen well maybe..

assassinX01
assassinX01

I could use another company to invest in.

lordraven224
lordraven224

I personally don't know which way this could go. However, it'll be interesting to see what happens. Personally, I hope that it'll succeed while still being able to cater to the creativity of the developers without the hassle of publishers (read Atari screw ToEE or LucasArts/KotOR 2). If does succeed think about the ramifications down the line. This could very well revolutionize the entertainment industry in general, not just games. I think it's possible that Bono is testing the waters with the gaming industry before he goes all out and tries sidecutting the record industry.

Myugenjin
Myugenjin

Come on peeps look at how much BONO has given back to the peeps (LIVE AID ect) he's not the type like MS or EA where they value their share holders ideas above all else. Besides if Bioware or any small fry dev is to have a chance in the next 5 years against T2, EA, ACTVI, there going to have to become public. That Web Bush morgan guy is only one analyst out of 400 they have and 1 out of a few thousand nation wide. He's only giving his limited openion. Think about it, if Bioware becomes public they can both help create as well as publish new titles for much smaller devs giving us a chance to play new games. Kinda how Capcom did in the 80's with small projects like MegaMan!

Sango_Fighter
Sango_Fighter

Short sell above 30, buy at 15 or under. Not many gaming companies that go public do well except for EA and Ubisoft. TakeTwo was doing fine but because of its "problems" its been going down. THQ is actually doing ok. The Bio/Pan company will only succeed if they have a very good accountant and realistic deadlines that they keep up with. If they turn "Hollywood like EA," they might actually do really well and fly. But I will be disgusted cause this is where Bio/Pan innovation will possibly collapse.

umbrae
umbrae

Just what we need... instead of cratering to stupid publishers... cratering to even dumber investors. Was a good start Bioware; hope it finishes well...

Game-o_O
Game-o_O

The companies merged, they didn't give power from one to the other, they are both being fairly ruled under 1 leader. Go public! But don't be like pixar (cause they make stuff for kids :/ [toy story]) Lol.

LordOfMidnight
LordOfMidnight

Going public is a terrible idea. As soon as you do that your creative juices are always fenced in by stockholders. Not cool...

DarkGord
DarkGord

It was like 300M that elevation was supposedly investing in the combined studios, shouldn't that be enough to give the two developers all the freedom they want/need to produce top quality games?

Or is it just another capitalist magician's trick : we give you 300M and take control of you, then we sell you to every one who want to buy and get our money back while still being in control of you, so should you make profit we get a nice share and should you go down, then tough luck we already got our cash back...

Besides how independent can some one be who is owned by others, possibly including competing companies??!

bdub20791
bdub20791

yay! mainstreem crap! we dont need ANOTHER ea...

AA7
AA7

I love this alliance, soon there will be knights of the old battlefront and jade all humans.

Hell3ent
Hell3ent

This could be a bad thing...sure, by going public Bioware will get more funding to develop its games (presumably), but we might see some of their innovative development quashed by board of directors more interested in cash flow than innovation.

magus704
magus704

There's no way that Bioware/Pandemic should go public. They'll get hammered by the big boys, and the result will be a lack of new creative properties from these great developers.