Comcast and Time Warner Mobilize Lobbyists for D.C. Influence Blitz on Merger

February 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The day after Comcast announced its intentions to buy out Time Warner Cable, it mobilized its army of lobbyists and consultants to gauge the atmosphere in Washington D.C concerning the deal. The company has no problem lobbying lawmakers and padding their campaigns with cash to get the job done either.

5 comments | Read more

Sen. Al Franken Tells FCC, FTC, and DOJ Comcast-TWC Merger Goes in the 'Wrong Direction'

February 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) has come out strongly against a proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, Sen. Franken said that there is already not enough competition in this [we assume he means broadband and cable television] space and this deal goes in the wrong direction. He also said that he is thinks this deal will increase cable prices and decreased the quality of service for Time Warner Cable customers.

9 comments | Read more

Report: Digital Alloy to Merge with Break Media

October 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Variety is reporting that The Escapist and Warcry parent company Alloy Digital and GameFront parent company Break Media (who also owns Break.com) will soon announce a merger of the two properties under a new 50-50 partnership. The new company will be called Defy Media. Variety claims that Defy Media will focus on creating video content aimed at the 14 - 34 year-old mostly male demographic.

| Read more

Sega Buys Atlus Parent Company Index

September 18, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Sega has confirmed that it has taken over the operations of Index Corporation, the Japanese parent company of video game publisher Atlus. Index filed for "Civil Rehabilitation" (the Japanese version of bankruptcy) in June of this year, after suffering heavy debts. Sega has acquired the company and Atlus, and has formed a new subsidiary to take over operations of the company, called Sega Dream Corporation (the name is tentative and will likely change at a later date).

Posted in
| Read more

GungHo Group Acquires Grasshopper Manufacture

January 30, 2013 -

Japanese publisher GungHo Group has acquired Lollipop Chainsaw developer Grasshopper Manufacture. The studio was founded by famed Japanese games developer Suda 51 (Goichi Suda), whose work includes No More Heroes and Killer 7. The company is currently working on Killer is Dead. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

GungHo publishes online and mobile game titles such as the popular MMO Ragnarok Online and Dragon Saga.

1 comment | Read more

Indie Strategy Game Developers Form Super Group

December 5, 2012 -

Three independent game companies have decided to work together to develop and publish independently developed strategy and war games. The Slitherine Group, Ageod, and Matrix Games have merged. The new super group will continue to develop and publish niche war and strategy games online and through other channels. The Slitherine Group released 30 titles in 2012 for a variety of platforms including PC, Mac, PS3, X360 and tablet platforms. Its games include Battle Academy on iPad, Commander- The Great War, Close Combat: Panthers in the Fog for PC, and many others.

| Read more

Alloy Digital Acquires The Escapist

November 15, 2012 -

Alloy Digital has completed the acquisition of the popular gaming website, The Escapist from Themis Media. Themis Media was advised on the sale by Redwood Capital and A. Buchholtz & Company, LLC. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

3 comments | Read more

Former Square Director Calls Square Enix Merger a 'Failure'

November 8, 2012 -

The former head of Square has some harsh words for Square Enix after the company posted a quarter of losses, saying publicly that the company seemed to have "no vision for the future." Square Enix recently posted losses of nearly 5.5 billion yen, which in turn sent its stock in a downward dive, making its market cap worth around 124 billion yen.

Suzuki pointed out on Twitter that when Square merged with Enix in 2003, the market cap was 150 billion yen.

2 comments | Read more

Nexon to Acquire Japanese Mobile Game Developer gloops

October 1, 2012 -

Nexon Co., Ltd. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding common shares of gloops, Inc., a mobile games developer that made its name by developing for DeNA’s Mobage platform in Japan. Nexon will pay 36.5 billion yen in cash.

| Read more

Silly Rumor: Valve in Discussions with NCsoft and Nexon about Possible Merger

September 27, 2012 -

South Korean publication Joongang News (by way of GamesBeat) may be reading WAY TOO MUCH into a meeting between Nexon, NCsoft and Valve Software in South Korea this week.

| Read more

Epic Games Now Owns People Can Fly

August 13, 2012 -

Epic Games bought a majority stake in Bulletstorm and Painkiller developer People Can Fly in 2007, and as of today they own the company outright. Epic Games announced that it has purchased the Warsaw, Poland-based developer who is currently working on Gears of War Judgment, though for how much they did not disclose. Epic made the decision to buy the company last week.

On a related note, Adrian Chmielarz, Andrzej Poznanski and Michal Kosieradzki have left the company. Epic's Mark Rein says that these departures will not affect the studio's ongoing projects in any way.

1 comment | Read more

BigWorld CEO Resigns Following $45 Million Buyout by Wargaming

August 10, 2012 -

The CEO of middleware company BigWorld has resigned from the company. Earlier in the week it was announced that World of Tanks developer Wargaming had bought the middleware provider for $45 million. CEO John De Margheriti, who was one of the founders of the company, will step down at the end of this week. He will be replaced by co-founder Steve Wang, who will report directly to executives at Wargaming. Despite the departure, De Margheriti's statement seems to indicate an amicable exit from BigWorld.

| Read more

Wargaming Acquires BigWorld for $45 Million

August 7, 2012 -

In a shocking turn of events, Wargaming has purchased video game middleware company BigWorld for $45 Million, according to a GamesBeat report. Wargaming is best known for its wildly popular online game World of Tanks. That game has more than 35 million registered users who can play for free or buy virtual goods to enhance their game experience if they so choose.

| Read more

EA's Firemint and IronMonkey Studios Merge to Become FireMonkeys

July 25, 2012 -

Electronic Arts has merged two of its mobile game development studios into one mega-studio in Australia. Firemint and IronMonkeys will be merged into a single studio now known as Firemonkeys studio.

| Read more

K2 Network Merges with Reloaded Games

July 5, 2012 -

In a deal financed by Arkenstone Investment, APB Reloaded creator Reloaded Games has merged with its parent company, K2 Network. The new company will operate under the Reloaded Games name.

"This merger represents the beginning of a new era for the company, as we evolve our two core businesses," said Reloaded Games CEO Bjorn Book-Larsson. "We have already signed contracts with independent developers to use our platform and portal for their free-to-play game distribution. We will announce those agreements in the next couple of weeks."

| Read more

Zynga Acquires Draw Something Developer OMGPOP

March 21, 2012 -

Zynga probably isn't all that embarrassed that OMGPOP's Draw Something beat their top game on Facebook this week - because they have bought OMGPOP. If you can't beat them, I guess you simply buy them out. The godfather of social gaming has made the company an offer it couldn't refuse, with some publications putting the deal in the $200 million ballpark. This deal is not all that surprising given the number of rumors circulating that Zynga executives were out to buy the company and take advantage of the Draw Something success.

| Read more

AT&T Merger Plans for T-Mobile Officially Dead

December 20, 2011 -

AT&T has officially announced that its merger plan with T-Mobile is pushing up daises, but it also takes a few shots at the government for running interference to kill the deal. The $39 billion deal with T-Mobile parent company - Germany-based Deutsche Telekom - fell apart after government regulators from the FCC and the Justice Department took AT&T to task over what the company claimed the deal would accomplish. The Justice Department sued to block the deal in late August, calling it anti-competitive and warning that  it could raise consumer prices.

5 comments | Read more

Judge Grants Delay for Antitrust Trial for AT&T T-Mobile Merger

December 12, 2011 -

It's a time-out for everyone when it comes to the drama over the AT&T and T-Mobile merger, as AT&T and the Justice Department have agreed that they will delay indefinitely the antitrust trial over the company’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA while the wireless carriers involved determine if it will ever even happen.

| Read more

FCC Wants Further Scrutiny of AT&T T-Mobile Merger

November 23, 2011 -

AT&T is finding that making the $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA a reality will be an uphill battle. The mobile broadband operator expected the FCC and other U.S. government agencies to green light the merger, but this week FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asked commissioners to send the proposal to a judge for a hearing and further scrutiny. FCC staff came to the conclusion that the proposed merger would "significantly diminish competition" and lead to job losses.

Posted in
1 comment | Read more

DOJ Files Lawsuit to Block AT&T T-Mobile Merger

August 31, 2011 -

Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit to block AT&T Inc.’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of rival T-Mobile USA Inc. In its filing today in Federal Court the government said that the deal would "substantially lessen competition" in the wireless market. The government is seeking a declaration that AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile (owned by Deutsche Telekom AG, or DTE), would violate U.S. antitrust law.

7 comments | Read more

Law Firm Tackles AT&T and T-Mobile Merger

July 26, 2011 -

New York-based law firm Bursor & Fisher, P.A., has launched "Fight The Merger," an initiative to stop the proposed $39 billion merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. The firm, which has in the past sued both AT&T and T-Mobile separately on behalf of their customers, has signed up a few dozen AT&T customers to oppose the unpopular merger.

The web site for the initiative claims that a successful takeover would mean that AT&T and Verizon controlling around 80 percent of the market in the U.S. It further argues that the deal would hinder innovation and limit consumer protection from high prices. Sprint would be the only nationwide competition to AT&T and Verizon, and it has vocally opposed the merger as well.

| Read more

AT&T's Generous Contributions to Lawmaker-Linked Charities

June 1, 2011 -

How do you give money to politicians without actually giving them a big fat check directly? Write a check to a charity they are closely associated with. That is just what AT&T has been doing, and it is getting the attention of the public and media outlets.

AT&T has given a substantial amount of money to charities connected to several lawmakers including Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia), who just happens to be the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which has direct jurisdiction over the Federal Communications Commission. A charity associated with Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), who just happens to be on the Senate Appropriations Committee. AT&T also gave a generous contribution to a charity associated with Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), the No. 3 House Democrat. His daughter, Mignon Clyburn also happens to be a member of the Federal Communications Commission.

2 comments | Read more

Perfect World to Acquire Cryptic Studios from Atari

May 31, 2011 -

China-based MMO giant Perfect World has entered into an agreement with Atari S.A. to acquire a hundred percent equity interest in Cryptic Studios, the developers of Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and City of Heroes. The California-based online game developer will cost Perfect World approximately EUR 35.0 million in cash, or $49.8 million. The deal is subject to working capital, adjustments as provided in the agreement, and other customary closing conditions. It is assumed that Perfect World does not gain control of the MMO's that Cryptic currently facilitates such as Champions Online or Star Trek Online.

| Read more

Heritage Foundation Wants Net Neutrality Rules Rescinded

February 3, 2011 -

Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation has issued a report urging congress to review what it calls 20 "unnecessary and harmful regulations" - three of which have to do with the FCC.

"This regulatory tide must be reversed," Heritage's Dianne Katz said. "Policy­makers should not just prevent harmful new regulations, but must repeal costly and unnecessary rules already on the books."

Ars Technica details the three items that Heritage Foundation is putting a bull’s-eye on: net neutrality regulations, media ownership rules, and the FCC's merger review authority.

1 comment | Read more

Yahoo Selling Off Game Business?

July 31, 2009 -

paidContent is reporting that Yahoo may soon sell off its Yahoo Games unit in an effort to cut costs.  HotJobs, Yahoo Small Business and Yahoo Personals are already on the sell list.

Yahoo Games averages 19.2 million unique visits per month and partnerships with PopCap, Gogii Games and Big Fish have helped to create a portfolio of hundreds of games. Yahoo’s fantasy sports business would not be included in the fire sale as it is part of Yahoo Sports.

While Yahoo doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation, paidContent’s sources say two potential buyers have already come calling.  Who might be interested in acquiring Yahoo Games?  Speculation runs from IGN Entertainment to Best Buy and GameStop but MSN Games and AOL are seen as the best candidates.

Meanwhile, Microsoft and Yahoo have worked out a deal to merge their search engine businesses in a direct challenge to Google's dominance.

Via: GameDaily

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen...

8 comments

Fun Facts From EA's Annual Report

May 22, 2009 -

The annual report of game publishing giant Electronic Arts landed in GP's inbox this morning. Typically, reading through these things is a surefire remedy for insomnia, but EA's contains a few tidbits worth mentioning.

1.) EA's failed bid to gobble up Take-Two cost the company $21 million:

As a result of the terminated discussions [with T2], we recognized $21 million in related costs consisting of legal, banking and other consulting fees...

2.) EA uses DRM (you knew that) and is watching for piracy online:

We typically distribute our PC products using copy protection technology, digital rights management technology or other technological protection measures to prevent piracy... We are actively engaged in enforcement and other activities to protect against unauthorized copying and piracy, including monitoring online channels for distribution of pirated copies, and participating in various industry-wide enforcement initiatives, education programs and legislative activity around the world.

3.) Only 3% of EA employees are unionized, and they all work for DICE:

As of March 31, 2009, we had approximately 9,100 regular, full-time employees, of whom over 5,100 were outside the United States... Approximately 3 percent of our employees, all of whom work for DICE, our Swedish development studio, are represented by a union, guild or other collective bargaining organization.

4.) GameStop and Wal-Mart are EA's biggest customers; each accounts for 14% of EA sales:

Worldwide, we had direct sales to two customers, GameStop Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which each represented approximately 14 percent of total net revenue for the fiscal year... the concentration of our sales in one, or a few, large customers could lead to a short-term disruption in our sales if one or more of these customers significantly reduced their purchases or ceased to carry our products...

5.) EA worries about game content legislation and its potential effect on sales:

Legislation is continually being introduced in the United States... for the establishment of government mandated rating requirements or restrictions on distribution of entertainment software based on content... Other countries have adopted or are considering laws regulating or mandating ratings requirements...  Adoption of government ratings system or restrictions... could harm our business by limiting the products we are able to offer to our customers...

6.) EA worries about falling victim to a Hot Coffee incident but has taken steps to prevent it from happening:

If one or more of our titles were found to contain hidden, objectionable content, our business could suffer... Retailers have on occasion reacted to the discovery of such hidden content by removing these games from their shelves, refusing to sell them, and demanding that their publishers accept them as product returns.

We have implemented preventative measures designed to reduce the possibility of hidden, objectionable content from appearing in the video games we publish. Nonetheless, these preventative measures are subject to human error, circumvention, overriding, and reasonable resource constraints.

Apple Aiming to Take a Big Bite of EA?

May 5, 2009 -

A brief item on TheStreet.com mentions that there are rumors afoot that Apple may be fueling a major move into gaming by attempting to acquire publishing giant Electronic Arts.

Commenting on the speculation, Edge Online notes that Apple has recently hired some execs with game biz background.

TechNewsWorld has more speculation on Apple's gaming ambitions.

UPDATE: VG247 reports that Wedbush-Morgan analyst Michael Pachter pulled no punches in his assessment of the Apple-EA rumor:

To say that it is idiotic would be an insult to all idiots.

Pachter was also blunt in comments to Gamasutra:

Sounds retarded to me.

Apple could buy Warner Music for around $3 billion, and control 20 percent of all recorded music. That makes more sense to their current business model than buying EA for more than twice that, doesn't it?

I don't want to start a rumor, but want to point out that Apple doesn't own any entertainment content, so I don't know why they would feel compelled to enter a new business unrelated to their current product slate.

47 comments

Take-Two Buyout Rumors Return

April 13, 2009 -

Take-Two, which managed to avoid being assimilated by Electronic Arts in last year's long-running takeover saga, may be the target of a new buyout, according to Barron's.

The financial news service attributes a recent rise in the share price of TTWO to takeover rumors:

Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) shares are up sharply for the second straight session on a revival of rumors that the video game company might be a takeover target... Last Thursday, the stock was hopping on what TheFlyOnTheWall.com [subscription req.] described as “renewed takeover chatter.” That apparently continues today.

As I post this, TTWO is up to 9.45, even though Wall Street itself is down.

UPDATE: Reached for comment by GamePolitics, Wedbush-Morgan financial analyst Michael Pachter pooh-poohed T2 takeover rumors:

I don’t see anyone making a move, given that management rejected EA’s $26 offer [last year]. It’s hard to see how anyone would pay more in this market, and I don’t know that Take-Two management would entertain an offer lower than $26 given their rejection of EA’s offer.

18 comments

UGO Acquires 1UP... Mass Layoffs... EGM Dead

January 7, 2009 -

As numerous sources are reporting, Hearst's UGO Entertainment has acquired 1UP from financially-troubled Ziff-Davis. Along with the 1UP sale, ZD is ceasing publication of Entertainment Gaming Monthly. Perhaps the best-known print publication for video game enthusiasts, EGM has been in operation since 1989.

Joystiq has a list of 1UP and EGM staffers who have lost their jobs. Among these are some well-known game journos, including James "Milkman" Mielke and Shane Bettenhausen.

Reactions have come swiftly and many are saddened by the layoffs:

-Kombo has a list of Twitter accounts wherein several former and current 1UP and EGM staffers are tweeting about the situation.

-Former Computer Gaming World (yet another defunct ZD mag) editor Jeff Green blogged:

A sad day for all the folks at 1up.com... my condolences go out to all those now looking for work. The list of people they decided to lay off is just crazy. Don't ask me to make any sense of it, because I don't see any.

R.I.P. 1up.com. They may keep your URL, there, but we all know better.

-God of War designer David Jaffe blogged as well:

My heart goes out to all those 1up and EGM folks who lost their jobs today. It's a real shame considering what an important part you guys/gals have played in the US gaming world all these years. Thanks for the many, many years of great, entertaining work.

-Valve Software tweeted a condolence:

Sorry to see things go down like that. Best of luck to the guys at EGM and GV

UPDATE: Jeff Green added a bit of a rant...

UPDATE 2: EA's Peter Moore weighs in:

I was saddened to see the announcement this afternoon that Electronic Gaming Monthly is closing its doors as  part of the Hearst acquisition of the Ziff Davis Media gaming assets. EGM has been a print publication mainstay of our industry for two decades, and while the real-time nature of web sites has put long-lead magazines and print media in general across most genres under real pressure, it is a sad day when such an important icon in gaming has to say goodbye.

 

 

 

32 comments

What if the EA - T2 Merger Had Gone Through? We Ask Pachter

December 22, 2008 -

As GamePolitics readers know, Electronic Arts pursued the acquisition of Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive for the better part of 2008.

Timing, as they say, is everything.

The deal ultimately fell through when EA walked away from the table in mid-September.  Since then the global economy has gone into the toilet and the supposedly recession-proof video game industry has shown that it really isn't.

But when EA made its offer to acquire T2 at $25.74 per share, the economy had not yet tanked. No one even dreamed of a Wall Street bailout, much less a potential bailout of the U.S. auto industry.

What if the deal had gone through, obligating EA to lay out huge piles of cash? Would it be like burning your savings on a new car and finding out the next day that your hours were being cut back at your job? Since the merger fell apart, EA has definitely hit a rough patch, laying off a thousand workers and shuttering some of its game development studios.

As for Take-Two, their stock will open south of $9 this morning. Since EA bailed on the merger, TTWO has plummeted, losing about 2/3 of its equity value in 90 days.

From here it seems like T2 would have been better off if the deal had gone through, but EA would have been in worse shape. But we're not experts, so we put the question to Wedbush-Morgan analyst Michael Pachter. Here's what Pachter told us:

[My answer is] totally speculative.  Had EA completed the deal, the TTWO shareholders at the time would have benefited, but other than Oppenheimer (who has been listed as a large shareholder the entire time), it's hard to say that there are many of those other shareholders still around.  I think that many of the shareholders who bought to take advantage of EA's offer were sellers when the offer was withdrawn, so only a small number of current shareholders, including Oppenheimer, were actually involved in the stock back then.

EA would be a mess had it completed the deal.  In addition to its own restructuring (which is just getting underway), the company would have been faced with re-signing the Housers and with cutting significant costs out of Take-Two in order to fully achieve synergies from the deal. 

I don't think a low cash balance [due to the T2 purchase] would be particularly relevant, since EA has a line of credit and is not burning significant cash, but it would have forced decisive action.

Notwithstanding, this is purely speculative.  I think EA would be a stronger company if combined with Take-Two, as the latter company has several valuable franchises and a combination would have given EA a near monopoly in sports.  Had they signed the Housers, EA would have been well-positioned to develop incremental new IP, and would have had one of the strongest franchises around in GTA.

But it didn't happen, and doesn't look like it will over the near term

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will limiting Steam services to accounts that have spent at least $5 eliminate spammers?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MattsworknameOff topic, but, who heres playing Bloodborne, and if so, is it mercillesly murdering you every chance it gets?04/25/2015 - 7:35am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenAttacked HOW and by WHOM for not writing off WHO as evil? Do you have a link or anything?04/24/2015 - 3:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthat is the whole point she was not attacked for saying anything. she was attacked for being willing to debate in the first place, and not just write them off as evil.04/24/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenI know there's not a lot of room in the Shout box but goodness you're being vague.04/24/2015 - 3:26pm
Andrew EisenGreat, but that STILL doesn't tell me what she said, why she was attacked (or what the attack was) or what "standard line" she's following. Details, man. Details!04/24/2015 - 3:25pm
Andrew EisenOr what the heck Nina White (someone else I've never heard of) is actually referring to.04/24/2015 - 3:24pm
Matthew Wilson@AE she is a game dev. she used to do stuff with hormanix and now works with https://outact.net/#!/?page_id=2 she will often engage and debate both side.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew Eisen...following.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician