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Delay to Champ Man augurs well for Square’s acquisition of Eidos

By on March 16, 2009
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I’m not known for being an Eidos cheerleader, but I positively whooped when I saw that Eidos has delayed Championship Manager by several months.

Although the financial press sees this as a bad thing (“More woe for Eidos with delay to CM” says CityAM, “Troubled computer games maker Eidos took a fresh blow today” says This is Money), I think its great news.

Eidos has long been hamstrung by its status as a public company. Put simply, Eidos was never big enough for a business that was hit-driven: it needed every one of its titles to perform, and perform well. When Tomb Raider was not polished enough, for example, the company could either risk disappointing its institutional investors by postponing the income from the game to the following year or releasing it anyway. The company put itself in this position pretty well every year, meaning that it always had to either sacrifice quality or its share price. Not a nice choice (and in practice, the share price always won).

Now that Eidos is almost private (in that it is almost owned by Square Enix, a much larger company), it is no longer a slave to the share price. It can hold back Championship Manager to give it polish without the markets immediately punishing its shares.

If this is what being owned by Square means for Eidos – the opportunity to polish and fine-tune premium brands to maximise value – then it could be very news for gamers. And for Square.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com