Eidos Interactive

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Eidos Interactive is the publisher for Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures.

About Edit

Eidos Interactive is a publisher of video and computer games with its parent company based in the United Kingdom. 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 (computer game series), Deus Ex, Legacy of Kain, Fear Effect, and Thief. Games for the Thief franchise are no longer being developed and the team who developed the most recent incarnation, Ion Storm, has been disbanded. On the 17th May 2007 it was "announced" that Eidos Montreal would be developing a new game in the Deus Ex franchise. Since then, Eidos have not confirmed these initial reports.

History Edit

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. 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(Domark), Simis and The Big Red Software Company Limited 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 (by far the largest of the set), Simis and Big Red were combined into Eidos Interactive. In 1996, with the success of the Sony Playstation imminent, Eidos plc acquired CentreGold plc (which included US Gold and Centresoft). 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, Cybercon III, and E-Motion). A further series of acquisitions and skilful use of capital meant that Eidos plc (now almost entirely consisting of Eidos Interactive) 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.

The company was planning to bring out a RISC OS powered games console prior to the collapse of Acorn Computers as a vendor and the sale of the OS to Pace Micro.

The company maintains offices all around the world, including the United States, Germany, France, Australia and Japan.

On August 3, 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 March 21, 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 March 22, 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 May 16, 2005.

Since the SCi purchase, the vast majority of the old Eidos management have been let go. SCi have 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 February 15, 2007 that they will open a new studio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada responsible for "new undisclosed next-generation projects".

Ian Livingstone was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for "Services to the Computer Games Industry" in the New Years Honours List 2006 as was Jane Cavanagh in the New Years Honours List 2007.

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