Eidos’ board of directors announced today that a court has officially approved Square Enix’s bid to take over the struggling Tomb Raider publisher. This news isn’t much of a surprise considering that rumors have been floating around since the end of 2008 that Eidos wasn’t seeing much of a return on their releases and would likely be looking for a bigger publisher to pick them up. While Infogrames, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft were all speculated to be interested in the Eidos property, with Infogrames making a bid last year, ultimately it was Square Enix who made the better offer.
In February Square made their official bid for the takeover with an estimated $117 million bid, which was promptly accepted in March with an over 85% approval rating from the stockholders.
“Eidos’ products are highly complementary to our business and will accelerate our aggressive expansion into Western markets,” says Square Enix president Yoichi Wada.
With Gamasutra reporting a 20% decline in market share on Japanese-developed games in the Western market earlier this year it seems like this was an excellent decision on Square’s part. By bringing Eidos under their roof they should be able to cater fans of more then just the JRPG genre that many gamers claim to be growing weary of.
The takeover becomes official tomorrow at 5p.m. in the UK when Eidos’ shares will be suspended on the London Stock Exchange. At 6 p.m. stockholders will receive a 32 pence payout for each share they own.
Keep an eye out for Lara Croft riding a chocobo in the near future. Oddly enough this could actually happen now. Oh the possibilities.
Written for Scrambled Pixel on 4/21/09.