Hard Times at Eidos

Plus Hitman and Lara slide...

The depth of the problems faced by British publisher Eidos Interactive became apparent over the week, as the Tomb Raider publisher announced a loss of £29.2 million for the six months ending December 31st 2004. Shares meanwhile hit an all time low of 35.5p on the back of the news. The position of the company now grows desperate, with capital reserves down nearly £50 million to £11.8 million, and only a £23 million credit line from the Royal Bank of Scotland likely to keep the firm going, with the release schedule somewhat sparse. New Tomb Raider and Hitman games have also been pushed back to later this year.

A buy-out now seems like the only way for Eidos to continue to operate in anything like their current form, and the board did reveal that a proposal was received earlier this month, but that there is much wrangling ahead if it is to be a success. Certainly, Eidos' numerous IPs must be an attractive proposition for other publishers, but rather than acquire a failing publisher, said firms might rather fight it out for assets after any collapse. A rumoured bid for the firm from News Corp. was hinted at last week, but dismissed. The situation therefore remains ambiguous. What now for what was once a giant of the industry?

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