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Eidos Interactive (1990)

Eidos Interactive Ltd.

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  Summary  

Eidos Interactive Ltd. , better known as Eidos, is a British video game publisher and is a label of Square Enix Europe. As an independent company, Eidos plc was headquartered in the Wimbledon Bridge House in Wimbledon, London Borough of Merton. The company maintains offices all around the world, including the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Australia and Japan.

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

Eidos officially became part of Square Enix on 22 April 2009. Following a reorganization of the company, Eidos was merged with Square Enix's European operations into Square Enix Europe. The Eidos brand currently lives through the development studio Eidos Montréal, and is also used as a label for games developed by former Eidos-owned developers like Crystal Dynamics and IO Interactive.

  Biography  

  Beginnings and company growth
Eidos plc, later to become the parent company of Eidos Interactive, was founded in 1990 as a company specialising in video compression and non-linear editing systems, particularly for Acorn Archimedes computers, and floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Following a series of rights issues and a strongly rising share price, Eidos plc undertook a series of acquisitions in the games sector, starting with the acquisition of the PC games companies Domark Group Limited , Simis and Big Red Software in 1995 through a reverse takeover. At the time, Domark was known for 3D Construction Kit, Championship Manager, Hard Drivin', and many other games. Domark , Simis and Big Red were combined into Eidos Interactive.

In 1996, with the success of the Sony PlayStation imminent, Eidos plc acquired CentreGold plc . Centresoft was sold back in an MBO. US Gold included the valuable asset of Core Design (probably best known for Tomb Raider, Chuck Rock, Curse of Enchantia, Heimdall, Rick Dangerous and E-Motion). A further series of acquisitions and skilful use of capital meant that Eidos plc was the fastest growing company in the world in the 1990s, with the share price rising over 400 times from its 1993 low to its 1999 high.

  Takeover by SCi
On 3 August 2004, the Wall Street Journal reported that Eidos was in preliminary discussions with a small number of companies in relation of a possible business combinations. In early March 2005, Eidos admitted that cash reserves had dwindled to £11.9m during the second half of 2004, and pre-tax losses had grown to £29m.

On 21 March 2005, Eidos received a takeover bid from Elevation Partners, the private equity firm owned by former Electronic Arts president John Riccitiello and with a number of notable partners, including U2's lead singer Bono. This takeover valued the company at £71m ($135m), and would inject £23m in order to keep the company solvent in the short term.

On 22 March, Eidos received a second takeover bid from the British games manufacturer SCi Entertainment. Sci offered £74m ($139m), and tabled a restructuring plan to cut £14m from annual costs. To fund this takeover, SCi proposed to sell £60m worth of stock. Eventually, in late April, Elevation Partners formally withdrew its offer, leaving the way clear for SCi. The takeover was finalized on 16 May 2005.

Since the Sci purchase, the vast majority of the old Eidos management were let go. SCi left their Battersea Office and moved into the old Eidos office on the second floor of Wimbledon Bridge House, 1 Hartfield Road, Wimbledon. Eidos announced on 15 February 2007 that they would open a new studio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada responsible for "new undisclosed next-generation projects". Eidos Montreal started developing a new game in the Deus Ex franchise.

In February 2007, Eidos acquired Rockpool Games, along with its two sister companies Ironstone Partners and SoGoPlay.

On 4 September 2007, the board of Sci Entertainment confirmed recent speculation that the company has been approached with a view to making an offer. On 10 January 2008 SCi announced take over and/or merger talks had been halted. As a result, the share price dropped by over 50%. Major investors called for the resignation of key personnel, including CEO Jane Cavanagh, over this issue as well as delays to key titles. On January 18, 2008 Jane Cavanagh, Bill Ennis and Rob Murphy left the company.

Eidos's parent company, Sci, revealed its 2008 financial report. Losses were at £100 million, but new CEO Phil Rogers claimed this was only due to the reconstructing plans. On September 19, 2008 Eidos opened a Shanghai based studio consisting of a small team to build up relations in Asia. On 3 December 2008, Sci changed its name to Eidos plc , and also changed its London Stock Exchange ticker symbol from SEG to EID.

  Part of Square Enix Europe
In February 2009, Square Enix reached an agreement to purchase Eidos for £84.3 million, pending shareholder approval, with an initial aim of fully buying Eidos on 6 May 2009. The date was brought forward and Square Enix officially took over Eidos on 22 April 2009.

Although Square Enix said earlier that it would let Eidos Interactive remain as it is currently and not meddle in its internal affairs, it has stopped publishing games under the Eidos brand, with new games coming out under the Square Enix brand instead. Currently the Eidos Interactive logo only appears for games developed by former Eidos-owned game studios.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Eidos Interactive", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.