Elevation eying Lionhead?

First Bioware, next Lionhead?

With investment firm Elevation Partners having lost out on publishing target Eidos Interactive earlier this year, they then succeeded in uniting Pandemic and Bioware, appointing EP boss John Riccitiello as chief of the new holding firm. Now, Elevation have set their sights on UK developer Lionhead according to a new report from MCV online. The trade magazine broke the rumour last week, citing 'senior level chatter', and it would be unsurprising if Elevation were looking to further improve their portfolio of interests, given the vast financial backing Riccitiello has garnered as former boss of EA. Board members at Elevation include U2 frontman Bono, for example.

Lionhead are behind hits such as Black and White, its sequel, and most recently The Movies - having also aided in the development of Fable on the Xbox. A representative of Lionhead told the UK trade magazine that they often receive buy-out enquiries, but there was greater interest on-hand than usual lately. Lionhead are one of Europe's most famous and respected independent developers, and in Peter Molyneux they also have one of the world's most prominent designers, so interest from Elevation seems highly plausible. That said, no ones managed to tempt a sale of the firm yet, and Molyneux may not be ready to part company with freedom and independence at present. The designer once headed Bullfrog, before selling the Guilford developer to EA, and subsequently departed having struggled under the publisher's corporate structure. Well keep you posted on this gossip as we learn more.

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