“Tomb Raider,” a game featuring the adventures of Indiana Jones-meets-Barbie figure Lara Croft, was once just about the hottest franchise in gaming. But Lara’s appeal waned, and with it went the fortunes of game publisher SCi Entertainment (SEG.L), which has seen its value collapse 92 per cent in a year, from about 600 million pounds (about $920 million American at today’s rate) to 50 million pounds now.
So this unsourced report in the Daily Mail makes sense to us — SCi is in the middle of takeover talks, with Electrionic Arts (ERTS), French gaming company Ubisoft, and Time Warner (TWX) — which already has a 16% stake in the company — all named as possible players in a deal. But it’s still worth taking such reports with a grain of salt — SCi has been long been the subject of takeover rumours, none of which have come to fruition.
A source familiar with matter said discussions are at an ‘early- stage’ and that SCi received approaches from two separate firms within the past few weeks.
The first is understood to have come from America’s Electronic Arts, the world’s second biggest computer games company.
It has always featured strongly in bid chatter that has surrounded SCi.
But it faces competition for SCi from France’s Ubisoft, which the source says has also made an approach.
EA owns a 25 per cent stake in Ubisoft but they act independently.
Renewed interest in SCi has been sparked by the dramatic fall in value of the company.
From a peak of £1billion at the height of the dotcom boom it is worth just £50million today.