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Eidos Interactive Ltd.

Overview

Eidos is a videogames development and publishing studio based in the UK. The company operates publishing offices in Europe and US (San Francisco), and is headquartered in Wimbledon, southwest London.

The Eidos group includes the development studios Crystal Dynamics, IO Interactive, Pivotal Games, and others. Eidos also has a 25% stake in Rocksteady Studios. The company also has a mobile games division, focusing on cellphone technologies.

Originally a specialist in video compression technology, the foundations for Eidos as it stands today were laid in the 1995-96 period through a series of acquisitions and mergers. British development houses Domark Group Ltd., Simis Ltd., and The Big Red Software Company Ltd. were combined to form Eidos Interactive. This was followed by the acquisition of 8-bit publishing powerhouse U.S. Gold, which brought the development studio Core Design with it.

Following the unexpected success of Core's Tomb Raider (1996), Eidos found itself catapulted to the centre of massive attention and profits. A string of franchises were born, including Commandos, Hitman, Deus Ex, Legacy of Kain and Thief.

After the successes of the late 90s, the beginning of the 21st Century brought troubles for Eidos, as a string of financial setbacks hammered the company's reputation at the London stock exchange. By 2004 the company's once-soaring shareprice was brought down low, leaving the door open for a potential acquisition, and rumours spread of competitors being given tours of Eidos' Wimbledon offices.

In early 2005 US venture capital group Elevation Partners, lead by former Electronic Arts president John Riccitiello and famously backed by U2 lead singer Bono, tabled an offer for the Eidos group. Shortly thereafter, the small but financially strong UK publisher SCi Games tabled a counter offer, culminating in a final package totalling $75m in cash and shares - and proposals to reduce Eidos' running costs by £14m ($26m). Elevation Partners, backed by the existing Eidos board, stood firm with an offer of $71m. The Eidos shareholders opted for SCi's deal and in April 2005 Elevation withdrew, leaving the way clear for SCi's bid.

The SCi acquisition and restructuring resulted in the immediate replacement of the Eidos board and many of the company's senior managers. Only Eidos' British figurehead, Ian Livingstone (granted an OBE by the Queen in 2006), remained. SCi succeeded in vastly reducing costs, partly by de-listing Eidos from the stock exchange, thereby eliminating the significant costs associated with being a listed company.

At the end of March 2009 Eidos as a whole was acquired by Square Enix, who now owns it.

Trivia

Company location (May 2006):

Eidos
Wimbledon Bridge House
1 Hartfield Road
Wimbledon, London, UK
SW19 3RU

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