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Larington
25th Apr 2008, 18:15
I'm not visiting much at the moment, lots of other things to do/look at/etc but thought you folks might be interested in this:
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/warner-bros-partners-with-sci


SCi and Warner Bros have announced that the two companies have entered into a strategic partnership.

Warner Bros Home Entertainment will subscribe for up to GBP 15 million (USD 30 million) new shares in the company and will handle distribution of SCi titles in the US, Canada and Mexico.

SCi said that it would raise GBP 60 million (USD 120 million) through a fully-underwritten placing and open offer of 171,605,424 new shares in the company at 35 pence per share.

Following completion of the fund raising, the company will have substantial cash balances in addition to its new committed GPB 25 million (USD 50 million) debt facility.

SCi also said that current trading is in line with expectations and that the company is on track to deliver cost savings of GBP 14 million (USD 28 million) from its rationalisation programme at a cost of GBP 7 million (USD 14 million) as announced in February.

Finally, the company noted that its progress with Tomb Raider: Underworld remained encouraging and that the game is scheduled for worldwide release before Christmas 2008.

"Today we have significantly strengthened our relationship with Warner Bros. - one of the world's largest media groups - to create an exciting strategic partnership, giving us increased scale in the North American market, to the benefit of all our major franchises," said SCi CEO Phil Rogers.

"The new financing puts us in a clear position to deliver on the strategic business plan which we announced in February with focus on cornerstone studios and core franchises, delivering high-quality, world class games."

"This investment underscores Warner Bros' commitment to becoming a major presence in the video game business," said Kevin Tsujihara, president, Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group.

"With SCi's new management team in place along with their track record of rich franchises like Tomb Raider, Hitman and Deus Ex we believe we have formed an exciting partnership and a powerful engine for growth."

Necros
25th Apr 2008, 18:42
Oh, it's good news, I hope this will help Eidos Montreal too. :thumbsup: If they are developing Thief 4 too, they have to get Stephen Russell.

jordan_a
25th Apr 2008, 19:36
SCi (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=74939), what's that for?

Larington
25th Apr 2008, 22:31
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eidos_Interactive


Eidos Interactive is a publisher of video and computer games with its parent company based in England. It is now part of the Eidos Group of Companies and is a subsidiary of SCi Entertainment Group PLC that is publicly-traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Its most well-known game series include Tomb Raider, Hitman, Commandos, Deus Ex, Legacy of Kain, Thief, and Fear Effect.

I was sorta confused by the mention of SCi in relation to Deus Ex at first myself, but then it all became clear.

AaronJ
26th Apr 2008, 05:44
JC will now get his speed augs from Road Runner.

Larington
26th Apr 2008, 07:20
:lol:

Also just spotted this:
Report: Eidos To Shutter Marketing, PR, Sales Teams
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=18408


According to a new report on consumer game website 1UP.com, Eidos is closing down its North American PR, marketing and sales departments as a condition of the financial infusion its parent company, SCi, has received from Warner Bros.

As reported earlier today, SCi has received a major investment from Warner Bros. in the form of a stock purchase worth £60 million ($118.5 million), particularly referencing a 'strategic distribution agreement' to drive growth in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

As detailed by 1UP, the layoff of these departments of Eidos is "part of the deal with Warner Bros" - which has been rapidly expanding its U.S. game publishing and distribution presence, as recently showcased in a late 2007 Gamasutra interview with Warner Bros SVP Samantha Ryan.

Earlier this year, SCi cut the company's worldwide workforce by 25% and discontinued development on 14 different game projects in an effort to stem the company's financial losses -- including a a £81.4 million ($161.18 million) deficit in second half of 2007 -- and refocus it on high profile games likely to generate a larger return.

At press time, Eidos representatives were unavailable for comment - Gamasutra will update this story as more information becomes available.

There are links to several related articles within both articles at their websites btw.

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3167582

UPDATE: Inside sources have informed 1UP that Eidos's entire PR, marketing, and sales department has been laid off as part of the deal with Warner Bros. We'll update with more information as it becomes available.
ORIGINAL STORY: It hasn't exactly been sunshine and roses lately for British publisher SCi. Last time we checked in, the beleaguered company was firing 25% of its staff and canceling games left and right in a bout of extreme cost-cutting measures designed to keep the company afloat.

Over the last month or so SCi has been treading water and restructuring its operations in the hopes that increased focus on recognized properties like Hitman, Deus Ex and Tomb Raider might convince a kindhearted investor or two to swoop in and take pity. Over the last few days we've been hearing rumors that SCi has been entertaining suitors to its house, particularly Time Warner and NBC Universal.

And lo, it has come to pass. Today SCI reports that it has in fact just signed a deal with the entertainment wing of Time Warner -- Warner Bros. Home Entertainment -- to the tune of $170 million USD. The cash infusion will take the form of 171,605,424 recently created shares, placed on the market by SCi as a method of raising funds.

This new cash will no doubt be a big shot in the arm for the struggling publisher -- doubly so when added to the previously collected $50 million in "debt facility" previously set aside by SCi to pay its creditors. This isn't the first time that Warner Bros. has stepped in to pay SCi's debts either. Back in 2006 the entertainment giant ponied up and bought out 10.3% of SCi's outstanding debt in a deal that saw Warner taking over a greater share of the Tomb Raider business and SCi getting the rights to some weird properties like Batman, Looney Tunes and old Hannah Barberra cartoons (including Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and Tom and Jerry).

In return for the bailout this time around, Warner Bros plans to get very cozy with the North American portions of SCi's distribution chain. While it's been understood for a while now that Time Warner has been actively seeking a way to increase the reach of its digital properties, the move comes at a very interesting time. Recently the media world has seen a lot of centralization and blurring of the lines between the games and entertainment business, with big entertainment distributors making grabs for hot properties at every turn. Maybe John Riccitello was onto something when he mused recently about Hollywood getting all nervous about the influence videogames have over the mass market?

"Today we have significantly strengthened our relationship with Warner Bros. one of the world's largest media groups, to create an exciting strategic partnership, giving us increased scale in the North American market, to the benefit of all our major franchises," comments Phil Rogers, CEO of SCi. "The new financing puts us in a clear position to deliver on the strategic business plan which we announced in February with focus on cornerstone studios and core franchises, delivering high-quality, world class games."

Along with the announcement, SCi reassured its stakeholders with some more good news -- namely that the recently-announced Tomb Raider: Underworld was still on track to ship before Christmas 2008.

So its good news for SCi -- at least in the short term. We'll have to wait and see whether or not Warner Bros. will be using its newfound weight to call in any 'favors' from its new best bud anytime soon.

Tracer Tong
26th Apr 2008, 07:57
JC will now get his speed augs from Road Runner.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lmao:

But seriously, this may NOT be good for us at all. See EA, its bought/usurped subsidiaries, and the games resulting from that. Let's take Westwood Studios for example: A fine company which developed the most popular RTS game ever. EA bought it, they built C&C3 and, well, it sucked. (they did, though, keep the original franchise's values such as FMVs with real people and such)

pHdeus
26th Apr 2008, 17:51
I personally cannot read between the lines on this one. I just know that business decisions are based on business metrics for the most part.

I am rather concerned by this news, mainly because the impact on Deus Ex 3 cannot be predicted with any certainty, by me at least.

Will Deus Ex 3 be considered the "baby" or the "bath water"? And how much quality will be allowed, since to a large degree, you get what you pay for.

Unstoppable
26th Apr 2008, 17:53
Deus Ex 3 will save SCI/Eidos from further financial turmoil. As will the next Tomb Raider. You heard it here first. Believe the prophecy.

pHdeus
26th Apr 2008, 18:19
Deus Ex 3 will save SCI/Eidos from further financial turmoil. As will the next Tomb Raider. You heard it here first. Believe the prophecy.

I sincerely hope that you are right and the folks in Montreal will treat this game with the same level of passion!

:o

Larington
27th Apr 2008, 07:13
Whats interesting about this deal is that it isn't being described as a straight buyout, the term I've heard used is partnership. As for whether WB might get ideas about imposing requirements of how they think the game should be?

Well, lets just hope they've studied the past success of Blizzard shall we? - Where its studio bosses have practically joked about how they have to train new managers on the concept of letting the development teams make all the game development decisions and let the managers stick to managing the company - Its certainly working for Blizzard, thats for sure. Thats probably why Blizzard is one of my favourite developers from a "managers aren't interfering with the games" standpoint.

http://uk.games.ign.com/articles/839/839007p1.html

From a development standpoint, at Blizzard Entertainment one of our values of course is commitment to quality. Activision is structured with independent studios and they give their independent studios quite a bit of autonomy. They believe very strongly, like we do, that the way to run a successful business in this industry is through developing high quality games. That's the only way to develop long-term value in your franchises and your businesses. Ultimately the only way to win is to create great games. I think that the combination of these two companies provides us with a very diversified, stable structure with which we can reward talent and continue creating awesome games.

imported_van_HellSing
27th Apr 2008, 08:13
You ask me, Blizzard's games are the Halo's of PC games, all hype with no real reasons to be praised so much. Style over substance. Sure, I liked Warcraft 2 and the first Diablo, but it went downhill from there.

Not to mention Blizzard's plagiarist tendencies *cough*Starcraft*cough*WH40K*ripoff*cough*

minus0ne
27th Apr 2008, 09:13
Blizzard as a shining example? Pardon me while I puke my guts out.

We're talking about the same company here? The one that hires psychologists specialising in addiction to try to make their product even more like heroïne, on purpose?

Larington
28th Apr 2008, 11:05
Come on, lets have a source for that kind of sensationalist statement.

Also, I should add I don't hold Blizzard as some shining example as you say, I'm merely appreciative of the fact that its management tries not to interfere with the development of a game. Hence this specific sentence:


Thats probably why Blizzard is one of my favourite developers from a "managers aren't interfering with the games" standpoint.

jordan_a
28th Apr 2008, 11:24
to make their useless productIf I may.