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Following my post about takeover speculation surrounding Eidos, Warner has changed its statement.
According to Gamesindustry.biz, the company said: “Warner Bros. notes that it intends to acquire shares in SCi if and when it considers appropriate, subject always to the terms of the standstill arrangements”. Which is quite a change, but may just be corporate-speak for “we’re keeping our options open.”
But talking to a few people around the industry, the following conspiracy theory cropped up: Warner wants to strengthen its European games business, but Eidos was bloated and fat. Phil Rogers is taking Eidos down a “studio-centric” route, which means getting rid of many of the centralised staff and making the whole organisation much leaner. Once that is done, Eidos looks much more attractive to Warner which would be able to acquire EU distribution and several great studios/IPs, but without having to make massive layoffs (because they will already have taken place). IO and Crystal Dynamics take their place alongside Travellers Tales as highly-talented studios, while the publishing team at Warner (the former Giant team of Tom Stone and Jonathan Smith) head up a massively-enlarged games division.
Conspiracy theory or just sensible business? Or possibly both?
The annoying thing is that I’m now adding to the speculation surrounding the Eidos share price, which was precisely what I was bemoaning in the first place.