Square Enix Europe

Last updated

Square Enix Limited
Square Enix Europe
Formerly
  • Domark Limited (1984–1990) [1]
  • Domark Group Limited (1990–1996) [1]
  • Eidos Interactive Limited (1996–2009) [1]
Subsidiary
Industry Video game industry
Founded1984;35 years ago (1984) in Putney, London, England
Founders
  • Mark Douglas Ashley Strachan
  • Dominic Marius Dennis Anthony Wheatley
Headquarters,
England
Key people
  • Michael Sherlock (COO)
  • Philip Timo "Phil" Rogers (CEO)
Products
Parent
  • Eidos Public Limited Company (1995–2005)
  • SCi Entertainment Group plc (2005–2009)
  • Square Enix (2009–present)
Subsidiaries
Website eu.square-enix.com/   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Square Enix Limited (formerly Domark Limited and Eidos Interactive Limited), doing business as Square Enix Europe, is a British video game publisher, acting as the European subsidiary of Square Enix. The company was founded as Domark in 1984, named after the founders Mark Strachan and Dominic Wheatley. In 1995, the company was acquired by Eidos and was merged with two other studios and renamed Eidos Interactive the following year. Eidos was in turn acquired by SCi in 2005, and Eidos Interactive was sold to Square Enix in 2009. On 9 November 2009, Square Enix completed the merger of its existing European branch with Eidos Interactive, renaming the resulting company Square Enix Europe.

A video game publisher is a company that publishes video games that have been developed either internally by the publisher or externally by a video game developer. As with book publishers or publishers of DVD movies, video game publishers are responsible for their product's manufacturing and marketing, including market research and all aspects of advertising.

Square Enix Japanese video game company

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling 144 million, the Dragon Quest franchise selling 78 million and the Kingdom Hearts franchise selling 30 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.

SCi Games video game publisher

SCi Entertainment Group plc was a British video game publisher based in London. The company was founded in 1988 by Jane Cavanagh and floated on the stock exchange in 1996. In May 2005, SCi acquired Eidos, the parent company of publisher Eidos Interactive, and merged their operations by June 2006. In December 2008, SCi was briefly renamed Eidos and was subsequently taken over by Square Enix in March 2009.

Contents

Intellectual properties owned by Square Enix Europe include Deus Ex , Tomb Raider and Just Cause , among others.

<i>Deus Ex</i> video game series

Deus Ex is a series of role-playing video games. The first two games in the series were developed by Ion Storm, and subsequent entries were developed by Eidos Montréal, following Ion Storm's closure. The series, set during the 21st century, focuses on the conflict between secretive factions who wish to control the world by proxy, and the effects of transhumanistic attitudes and technologies in a dystopian future setting.

Tomb Raider, also known as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider between 2001 and 2007, is a media franchise that originated with an action-adventure video game series created by British gaming company Core Design. Formerly owned by Eidos Interactive, then by Square Enix after their acquisition of Eidos in 2009, the franchise focuses on a fictional British archaeologist Lara Croft, who travels around the world searching for lost artefacts and infiltrating dangerous tombs and ruins. The gameplay generally focuses around action-adventure exploration of environments, solving puzzles, navigating hostile environments filled with traps, and fighting numerous enemies. Additional media has grown up around the theme in the form of film adaptations, comics and novels.

<i>Just Cause</i> (video game series) action-adventure video game series

Just Cause is an action-adventure video game series created by Avalanche Studios. The series consists of Just Cause, Just Cause 2, Just Cause 3, and Just Cause 4. The games are open world and take place in islands and archipelagoes primarily. By June 2018, the series had shipped over 15 million copies worldwide.

History

Foundation as Domark (1984–1995)

Former Domark logo (1984-1996) Domark logo.png
Former Domark logo (1984–1996)

In 1984, Mark Douglas Ashley Strachan and Dominic Marius Dennis Anthony Wheatley founded Domark as a video game publisher. [2] [3] [4] Its first title was 1984's Eureka! , written by Ian Livingstone. [5] Livingstone would go on to become deputy chairman of the company a few years later, [6] and would stay in various roles at the company, [7] until his departure from the company in 2013. [8] [9] Located within London's Putney district, the company held its own development team, The Kremlin, in the publisher's headquarters basement. [10] Domark was primarily remembered as the publisher for Championship Manager and Hard Drivin' . [11]

<i>Eureka!</i> (video game) 1984 video game

Eureka! is a video game for the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum computers, written by Ian Livingstone, developed by Novotrade for Andromeda Software and published by Domark in 1984.

Ian Livingstone Fantasy writer and entrepreneur

Ian Livingstone CBE (born 29 December 1949 is an English fantasy author and entrepreneur. Along with Steve Jackson, he is the co-founder of a series of role-playing gamebooks, Fighting Fantasy, and the author of many books within that series. He is also one of the co-founders of prominent games company Games Workshop.

Putney district in south-west London, England

Putney is a district in south-west London, England in the London Borough of Wandsworth. It is centred 6.1 miles (9.8 km) south-west of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.

Transformation into Eidos Interactive (1995–2005)

Former Eidos Interactive logo (2003-2009) Eidos logo.svg
Former Eidos Interactive logo (2003–2009)

On 25 September 1995, publicly traded Eidos Public Limited Company acquired Domark, alongside Simis and Big Red Software, for a total of GB£12.9 million. [12] On 31 May 1996, Simis and Big Red Software were merged into Domark to create Eidos Interactive. [13] Eidos Interactive acquired CentreGold in April 1996 for GB£17.6 million. CentreGold consisted of distributor CentreSoft and publisher U.S. Gold, which also included developers Core Design and Silicon Dreams Studio, [14] [15] though the latter would be re-acquired by its founder, Geoff Brown, through his newly founded Geoff Brown Holdings, on 16 December that year. [16] The Eidos Interactive acquisition was months prior to the release of Tomb Raider by Core Design, which CentreGold had acquired two years prior. [17]

The Big Red Software Company Limited, doing business as Big Red Software, was a British video game developer based in Leamington Spa, England, that was founded by Paul Ranson in October 1989.

Pound sterling Official currency of the United Kingdom and other territories

The pound sterling, commonly known as the pound and less commonly referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling also have currencies called the pound.

U.S. Gold Limited was a British video game publisher based in Witton, England. The company was founded in 1984 by Geoff Brown in parallel to his distributor firm, CentreSoft, both of which became part of Woodward Brown Holdings. The company primarily aimed at publishing games imported from the United States with a lower price tag in Europe and especially the United Kingdom.

Acquisition by SCi (2005–2009)

In March 2005, Eidos admitted that cash reserves had dwindled to GB£11.9 million during the second half of 2004, and pre-tax losses had grown to GB£29 million.

Money creation is the process by which the money supply of a country, or of an economic or monetary region, is increased. In most modern economies, most of the money supply is in the form of bank deposits. Central banks monitor the amount of money in the economy by measuring the so-called monetary aggregates.

On 21 March 2005, Eidos received a takeover bid from Elevation Partners, the private equity firm owned by former Electronic Arts president John Riccitiello and with a number of notable partners, including U2's lead singer Bono. This takeover valued the company at GB£71 million, and would inject GB£23 million in order to keep the company from bankruptcy in the short term. [18]

Elevation Partners was an American private equity firm that invested in intellectual property and media and entertainment companies. The firm had $1.9 billion of assets under management. The firm was founded in 2004 and was headquartered in New York City and Menlo Park, California. In the years 2012-2015 their assets were acquired by other companies, with portfolio under the name Elevation Partners closing in 2015. Some members of the board formed a company called "NextEquity Partners", which invests in similar sites. Bono went on to co-found "The Rise Fund", dedicated to improving the United Nations' seven sectors of sustainable development.

Private equity typically refers to investment funds, generally organized as limited partnerships, that buy and restructure companies that are not publicly traded.

Electronic Arts American interactive entertainment company

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) is an American video game company headquartered in Redwood City, California. It is the second-largest gaming company in the Americas and Europe by revenue and market capitalization after Activision Blizzard and ahead of Take-Two Interactive and Ubisoft as of March 2018.

The following day, Eidos received a second takeover bid from the British games manufacturer SCi. The company offered GB£74 million, and tabled a restructuring plan to cut GB£14 million from annual costs. To fund this takeover, SCi proposed to sell GB£60 million worth of stock. Eventually, in late April, Elevation Partners formally withdrew its offer, leaving the way clear for SCi. The takeover was finalized on 16 May 2005, with SCi merging itself into Eidos Interactive's parent, renaming it SCi Entertainment Group Limited.

In May 2006, Eidos announced that independent developer Rebellion Developments had acquired Core Designs' assets and staff, while the Core brand and intellectual property, including Tomb Raider, remained in Eidos' possession.

Since the SCi purchase, the vast majority of the old Eidos Interactive management were let go. SCi left its Battersea Office and moved into the old Eidos Interactive office on the second floor of Wimbledon Bridge House, 1 Hartfield Road, Wimbledon. Eidos Interactive announced on 15 February 2007 that it would open a new studio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada responsible for "new undisclosed next-generation projects". Eidos Montréal started developing a new game in the Deus Ex franchise. [19] [20]

In February 2007, Eidos Interactive acquired Rockpool Games, along with its two sister companies Ironstone Partners and SoGoPlay, and proceeded to close Rockpool Games in 2009. [21]

On 4 September 2007, the board of SCi Entertainment confirmed recent speculation that the company has been approached with a view to making an offer. [22] On 10 January 2008, SCi announced take over and/or merger talks had been halted. [23] [24] As a result, the share price dropped by over 50%. Major investors called for the resignation of key personnel, including chief executive officer (CEO) Jane Cavanagh, over this issue as well as delays to key titles. [25] On 18 January 2008, Jane Cavanagh, Bill Ennis and Rob Murphy left the company. [26]

When SCi revealed its 2008 financial report, losses were at GB£100 million, but new CEO Phil Rogers claimed this was only due to the reconstructing plans. [27] On 19 September 2008, Eidos Interactive opened a Shanghai-based studio, Eidos Shanghai, consisting of a small team to build up relations in Asia. [28]

In January 2009, Eidos closed its Manchester studio. [29]

Takeover by Square Enix (2009–present)

In February 2009, Square Enix reached an agreement to purchase Eidos Interactive for GB£84.3 million, pending shareholder approval, [30] with an initial aim of fully buying Eidos Interactive on 6 May 2009. [31] The date was brought forward, and Square Enix officially took over Eidos Interactive on 22 April 2009. [32]

Square Enix initially stated that it would let Eidos Interactive remain structured as it was at the time of its takeover. [33] It subsequently announced in July 2009 that it would merge Eidos with its own pre-existing European subsidiary, Square Enix Limited (itself established on December 1998). [34] [35] The merger would create a new entity, tentatively titled Square Enix Europe. [36] [37] The merger was completed on 9 November 2009 with the Square Enix Europe name being permanently retained as the resulting company name. [38] The Eidos name was however retained for the development studios Eidos Montreal and Eidos Shanghai.

Studios

Current

Former

Games published

Related Research Articles

IO Interactive A/S is a Danish video game developer based in Copenhagen, best known for creating and developing the Hitman franchise. IO Interactive employs 170 people as of October 2016, and operates a Malmö-based studio, IOI Malmö, since January 2019.

Crystal Dynamics, Inc. is an American video game developer that was founded in 1992 by Judy Lang, Madeline Canepa and Dave Morse. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, it was acquired by Eidos Interactive in 1998. After Square Enix's acquisition of Eidos in 2009, it became a subsidiary of Square Enix. Crystal Dynamics was the first licensed developer for 3DO. The company's mascot was the video game character Gex the Gecko until 2000.

Core Design British video game developer

Rebellion (Derby) Ltd was a British video game developer based in Derby, England. Founded in May 1988 by former Gremlin Graphics employees, it originally bore the name Megabrite until rebranding as Core Design in October the same year. The company was acquired by umbrella company CentreGold in 1994, which in turn was acquired by Eidos Interactive in April 1996. Following the latter acquisition, Core Design was re-organised as a subsidiary of Eidos Interactive, while other CentreGold components were either closed or sold off. In May 2006, the Core Design personnel and assets were acquired by Rebellion Developments, and the company became Rebellion Derby, which was then shut down in March 2010.

Silicon Dreams Studio

Silicon Dreams Studio Limited was a British video game developer based in Adderbury, England

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment American publisher, developer, licensor, and distributor of video games

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is the video game production arm of Warner Bros., and a publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all platforms, including console, handheld, mobile and PC-based gaming for both internal and third party game titles.

Beautiful Game Studios

Beautiful Game Studios is a British video game developer based within the Wimbledon district of London, England. Founded in 2003, the studio was announced on 30 January 2004, as internal development team of Eidos Interactive, that would focus on the development of Championship Manager, after the original developer of the series, Sports Interactive, departed from Eidos Interactive in 2003.

Kaboom Studios Limited was a British holding company established by Geoff Brown on in January 1997 to pursue video game development investment.

<i>Tomb Raider: Anniversary</i> video game

Tomb Raider: Anniversary is an action-adventure video game co-developed by Crystal Dynamics and Buzz Monkey Software. It was published by Eidos Interactive in 2007 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, PlayStation Portable, Wii and mobile phones. It was later ported to OS X in 2008 and PlayStation 3 in 2011. The eighth entry in the Tomb Raider series, Anniversary is a remake of the first Tomb Raider game released in 1996.

Pivotal Games Limited was a British video game developer based in Corston, England.

Rocksteady Studios Limited is a British video game developer based in Kentish Town, London. Founded on 13 December 2004, they are best known for their work in the Batman: Arkham series. The company is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Eidos Montréal Canadian video game developer

Eidos Montréal is a Canadian video game developer based in Montreal, Quebec. The studio is owned by Square Enix Europe, a subsidiary of Square Enix.

Square Enix Montreal video game developer

Square Enix Montreal is a Montreal-based studio under video game developer Square Enix best known for creating the Go series of turn-based puzzle games for smartphones and tablets based on former Eidos Interactive intellectual properties. Founded in November 2011 as a traditional studio with plans to create a new Hitman series game for consoles and employ several hundred people, its mandate changed in 2013 when it became its parent company's choice studio to produce mobile games, beginning with the Hitman franchise. The company developed prototypes for two mobile Hitman games, which became the board game-inspired puzzle game Hitman Go (2014) and the shooter Hitman: Sniper (2015). The commercial success of the latter and the critical success of the former led to two additional titles in the Go series: Lara Croft Go (2015), based on the Tomb Raider series, and Deus Ex Go (2016), based on the Deus Ex series.

References

  1. 1 2 3 https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/01804186
  2. Arena, Paul (27 June 2005). "In2Games appoints Mark Strachan as Non-Executive Director". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  3. Martin, Matt (21 December 2006). "iDVD will broaden videogame market, says Tomb Raider boss". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  4. Weber, Rachel (27 June 2012). "New CEO and commercial director for Kuju". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  5. Gibson, Ellie (3 January 2006). "Ian Livingstone receives OBE for services to industry". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  6. Remo, Chris (23 April 2010). "Eidos Life President Ian Livingstone Granted British Inspiration Award". Gamasutra . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  7. Gibson, Ellie (30 September 2005). "Livingstone takes on new role at Eidos". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  8. Corriea, Alexa Ray (30 September 2013). "Eidos President and CEO Ian Livingstone departs after 20 years". Polygon . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  9. Martin, Matt (30 September 2013). "Ian Livingstone leaves Eidos". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  10. Stuart, Keith (19 November 2016). "The Ant Man: my year in development hell". Eurogamer . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  11. Fahey, Rob (27 April 2009). "Square and Eidos: The History". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  12. "EIDOS ACQUIRES THREE COMPANIES, UNVEILS PLACING". Telecompaper . 25 September 1995. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  13. Sherman, Christopher (April 1996). "Four Way Merger Between Domark, Big Red, Simis, and Eidos". Next Generation . No. 16. Imagine Media. p. 23.
  14. Publishing (25 July 2008). "Deals that shook the industry: 5/10". MCV . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  15. IGN Staff (15 July 2003). "Core Founder Steps Down". IGN . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  16. "SILICON DREAMS TO BE 75% ACQUIRED BY NEW FIRM". Telecompaper . 16 December 1996. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  17. Moss, Richard (31 March 2015). ""It felt like robbery": Tomb Raider and the fall of Core Design". Ars Technica . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  18. Maragos, Nich; Carless, Simon (21 March 2005). "Elevation Partners Purchases Eidos". Gamasutra . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  19. Alexander, Leigh (26 November 2007). "Eidos Announces Deus Ex 3, Talks New Montreal Studio". Gamasutra . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  20. Thorsen, Tor (26 November 2007). "Eidos resurrecting Deus Ex?". GameSpot . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  21. Sliwinski, Alexander (23 January 2009). "Eidos closes mobile developer Rockpool Games". Engadget . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  22. Elliott, Phil (4 September 2007). "SCi confirms approach has been made". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  23. "Lara Croft firm scraps bid talks". BBC . 11 January 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  24. "Takeover talk at Tomb Raider firm". BBC . 16 January 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  25. Armitstead, Louise (13 January 2008). "Game Over for Tomb Raider boss". The Times . Retrieved 29 October 2017 via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  26. Gage, Terence (18 January 2008). "Eidos management quit due to pressure from shareholders". Thunderbolt . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  27. Publishing (15 September 2008). "SCi results reaction". MCV . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  28. Publishing (19 September 2008). "Eidos opens Shanghai base". MCV . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  29. Martin, Matt (23 January 2009). "Eidos closes Manchester studio". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  30. Plunkett, Luke (12 February 2009). "Square Enix Trying To Buy Tomb Raider". Kotaku . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  31. Fahey, Mike (4 March 2009). "Eidos Pencils In Square Enix Takeover For May". Kotaku . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  32. "RECOMMENDED CASH OFFER FOR EIDOS PLC BY SQEX LTD. TO BE EFFECTED BY MEANS OF A SCHEME OF ARRANGEMENT UNDER THE UK COMPANIES ACT 2006" (PDF). Square Enix. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  33. Fahey, Mike (27 March 2009). "Square Enix Lets Eidos Be Eidos". Kotaku . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  34. https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/03679704
  35. "Square Enix Annual Report for 2004" (PDF). Square Enix. 2004. p. 67. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  36. Elliott, Phil (7 July 2009). "Square Enix revamps Europe operation". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  37. Plunkett, Luke (8 July 2009). "Goodbye Eidos, Hello Square Enix Europe". Kotaku . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  38. Elliott, Phil (10 November 2009). "Square Enix confirms European identity". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  39. https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-08-13-crystal-dynamics-opening-washington-studio