Eidos in acquisition talks

Tomb Raider publisher says it has entered "very early stage" of buyout discussions with mystery suitor.

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A rescue may be on the way for beleaguered publisher Eidos. Today, the Tomb Raider production house announced that it has entered into preliminary buyout talks with an unnamed suitor.

"The Board can announce that it has received a preliminary approach which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company," the publisher said in a statement. "Eidos emphasises that discussions are at a very early stage and that there can be no assurance that an offer will be forthcoming."

Even before the global financial slump began weighing heavily on the gaming industry, Tomb Raider publisher Eidos was staring down choppy economic waters. In a bid to rein in costs and refocus the company's efforts on games with profitability potential, the British game company slashed its workforce by 200, canceling 14 games in the process.

Despite those efforts, as well as a £60 million ($88.3 million) fund-raising share sale, Eidos has continued to post poor fiscal results into 2008. As part of its fiscal year-end report released in September, the publisher revealed losses of £99.1 million ($146 million) on slumping revenues of £118.9 million ($175 million) during the period. That situation is all the more exacerbated by the lackluster performance of Tomb Raider Underworld, which sold 1.5 million in its first six weeks on the market, 500,000 less than what the publisher had projected.

Eidos did not give any indication as to who may be interested in acquiring its operations. However, in the past, a number of rival publishers have reportedly expressed interest in purchasing the company, including Ubisoft and Electronic Arts. Time Warner, which increased its stake in the publisher to nearly 20 percent in December, has also recently looked to expand its presence in the gaming space, with chief financial officer John Martin saying earlier this year that the "games area is an area that intrigues us."

Discussion

67 comments
gaararulz4192
gaararulz4192

It would Warner Brother's Obviously, they already own some of Eidos. If you own Tomb Raider Underworld look near the bottom of the front cover, and YOU'LL SEE A WARNER BROTHER'S ICON

MrFinalFantasy
MrFinalFantasy

EA do churns out great games you know..its unfair when you guys diss EA and hope EA burns..well..1st up..you can dream of Fifa 10. if EA dies..i for one like EA. and Ubisoft too..so don't mind which is buying. as long as Eidos survives and given the freedom of making new games.

VexedLucifer
VexedLucifer

Sony doesn't just make PS3s Dumbass. Anyways I called this in a bet with a friend so I don't care I got mai five dollas. Probably Warner Bros. Which would be interesting.

beekayjay
beekayjay

It won't be Sony. It won't be EA. Both companies are struggling financially and are looking to trim down their headcount. Even if they could afford the initial acquistion, they just can't afford to support an extra studio.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

Whoever the buyer is, I hope it's not a first party like Sony, MicroSoft, or Nintendo. Eidos' games should stay multi-platform.

Timstuff
Timstuff

I think it's going to be either EA or Warner Bros.

Waseemreddler
Waseemreddler

End of Tomb Raider Series , tomb raider underworld failed to give the expected response to the publisher , they were expecting 2 million copies sale. which sold 1.5 million , so loss they faced of 0.5 Million copies, ( Loss of 25 Million Dollar) , it looks dead end. At Last Fall of Tomb Raider series in Nov 2008. Previous Releases of Tomb Raider. Tomb Raider (In the Top List game of the years) Tomb Raider 2 (Top game of the year) Tomb Raider 3 (Very Better sale , remains in Top List) Tomb Raider 4 (Excellent , Remains in Top List) Tomb Raider: Lost Artifect (Not in the Top List , but a good game) Tomb Raider 5 Chronicles (Top game of the year) Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness (Not in the Top List, not very good response) Tomb Raider Legend (In the Top List game of the years) Tomb Raider Anniversary (Not in the Top List , but a good game) Tomb Raider Underworld. (A great game , but failed to satify publisher and become the Last game of the Tomb Raider Series) Good Bye Tomb Raider..........................................

finaleve
finaleve

TheClown24 > sorry, but army of 2 wasn't good. Ubisoft is the buyer. place your bets!

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

Eidos has a lot of good franchises that it could reboot with today's graphic technology. This would be a good buyout for any publisher. Microsoft would be smart to add them to their exclusive lineups.

TheClown24
TheClown24

and ffs ea will ruin tr, i hate them they have the worst online system of anything the world has ever known, they make billions by putting their name on things that they have had absoulutly nothing to do sure they have made a couple of good games like deadspace and army of 2 but they are an overated by a mile

TheClown24
TheClown24

1.5 million seems fine to me dont know what all the fuss is about

mannholloway1
mannholloway1

I just wish Amy Hennig would rejoin them to bring back Legacy of Kain.

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

I think the back catalog of IP is the really valuable part of Eidos, and will get snapped up for a bargain given the current poor share price. I'd expect to see 4 main companies interested - EA, THQ, Ubisoft and Activision/Blizzard. EA didn't manage to get Take 2, and presumably had a lot of money ready to buy it with. THQ haven't had the best of times recently, so maybe rules them out. Ubi have been interested before, and Acti/Blizz are just printing money from WoW

beekayjay
beekayjay

@ richioso If Microsoft were to buy Eidos, and all IP associated with them, they have the choice of producing such titles like Hitman and Tomb Raider EXCLUSIVELY for the 360. Currently, it is a huge deal (apparently) when a 3rd party developer, like Square Enix or Namco, announces that a previously PS3 exclusive title is now multi-platform. What hasn't happened yet is multi-platform titles suddenly being announced as exlcusives, which could happen were Microsoft to buy Eidos. Scary prospect, but its something I would consider if I were Microsoft.

akiwak
akiwak

Ubisoft is the one of the only companies that is not reporting in the red. They have also churned out some great games I've been buying.

cajunstrike
cajunstrike

Agreed. Electronics Arts is a likely candidate...

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

It's either Ubisoft or EA.

dgeorgiou
dgeorgiou

We had Ian Livingston, the creative director of Eidos, doing a lecture at my university today, and was showing trailers of the Batman game in progress, looks good!

otanikun
otanikun

I'd go with Ubisoft on this as well, seems like the logical choice to me

Killingspree303
Killingspree303

24k_Solid_Gold Ubisoft makes both good and bad games. For instance, they've made Assassins Creed (which is a good game). But they've also made other games like baby games...

24k_Solid_Gold
24k_Solid_Gold

I'd prefer Ubisoft, because they do creative, fantasy, adventure games. EA just makes sports games. Please, please let it be Ubisoft...please.

richioso
richioso

@ beekayjay How on earth is buying Eidos going to "finish off Sony by limiting its available titles." 2 games

Psychotix666
Psychotix666

as long as Deus Ex 3 comes out im happy.

sirvampalot
sirvampalot

Who ever gets them,lets hope they can sort out the mess they made.

123outlaw
123outlaw

i dont want this rubbish game i want hitman 5

Amir29
Amir29

Though I hate to say it, I hope EA gets them. I've bought three Ubisoft games in the past year (Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia, and Far Cry 2) and all of them were so repetitive that it felt like a chore playing the games. And I prefer EA over any company owned by Ted Turner as well. It's ashame that Eidos has made such bad decisions with some potentially great franchises for so long now. The most recent mistake? Expecting Tomb Raider to sell 2 million copies. Has someone in Eidos gone mad?! As gamers, we knew better than what business men projected. That's just sad. Maybe it's about time these promising franchises get the dev teams, investment, and dev cycles they deserve. Goodbye Eidos, and thanks for all of the empty promises.

mark_D12
mark_D12

could be microsoft game studios

vortex_gw
vortex_gw

Yeah, I hope it's Ubisoft too. Like some user said below, I HOPE IT'S NOT EA!

shogoh
shogoh

Ubisoft has money. Eidos and Ubisoft both have a studio in Montreal. They work on the same type of game. It could be Ubisoft.

Templar_Bladema
Templar_Bladema

I hope it is Ubisoft, because they seem to have a better track record with games that are on the same level of exploration as Tomb Raider (ie Prince of Persia). That being said, I hope this does nothing to affect the game catalogue on Steam.

smzee27
smzee27

I'd rather it be Ubisoft than EA

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

I think Eidos is trying to get a higher price from EA (and/or) Ubi-soft by claiming a third party is interested in buying.

Newager
Newager

oh man :( dont let eidos die, I want hitman 5 too! i love hitman series!

gasolineonfire
gasolineonfire

I hope its not EA, I hope its not EA, I hope its not EA... ARGH my brains!!!

beekayjay
beekayjay

Not sure its EA. They are in the midst of their own cutbacks. My money is on Time Warner, or maybe even Blizzard-Activision, the largest dog in the park right now. Maybe even Microsoft, as it would be an aggressive move to finish off Sony by limiting its available titles.

pgmonkeeuk
pgmonkeeuk

Most definitely EA will try to get their fingers in this pie - Eidos were in trouble a few years ago and were bailed out by some former EA big-wig, can't remember the dudes' name. They'd be busting to get their hands on things like Tomb Raider. This time I guess, the UK recession has hit harder, and someone else has to come in. Time Warner already own quite a lot of stock of Eidos, and they tried to acquire more last year but were refused apparently..... As usual when companies get taken over, staff cut-backs follows - so I hope not too many people lose their jobs over this. It's a shame as starting off as a small-time, little known British company - they did fantastically well. Some great games, some stinkers, but it's an end of an era in my opinion!

Vainamoinen82
Vainamoinen82

Eidos has some good gaming franchises. Although lately they've put a lot of stock into games that didn't live up to expectations. Hope they can turn things around.

Syaz1
Syaz1

if there's a company that should buy them, i say it's ubisoft. i think eidos should reboot the tomb raider series, add a good plot and multiplayer to it, because a good looking female protagonist wont necessarily sell the game. i'm also hope there will be hitman 5. they should use the scimitar engine in the sequel if they're making one.

Dungeoncrawler1
Dungeoncrawler1

Another website had broke this earlier. Apparently Time Warner had been buying up alot of Eidos stock (see at wall street journal.com). Guess it might be them after all?

Paulf001
Paulf001

Is it EA lol Tomb Raider would be like the perfect EA game too, crank out a bunch of bad Tomb Raider games so nobody can stand them anymore. OH wait that already happened.

Darkon_X
Darkon_X

I hope UBISOFT buy them. I really like UBISOFT and they make some kick ass games.

somberfox
somberfox

I wouldn't be surprised if it was EA, they won't be happy until they own every last company in the industry.

star77241
star77241

Maybe a new company will help Tomb Raider get back to goodness.

Intrakitt
Intrakitt

robfield: that's seriously what I was going to say...

Consolaman
Consolaman

As long as they make a new Legacy of Kain.