Lionhead Studios to be bought out by publishing giants?

Eidos, Activision and Microsoft prowl around the Lion's den

Posted by Staff
According to reports in today's MCV, Lionhead Studios is currently being stalked by predatory uber-publishers wishing to buy out the Molyneux-founded development studio. The interested parties have been suggested as Microsoft, Activision and Eidos.

Lionhead - currently working on the long-awaited Fable, The Movies and BC - has declined to comment on these rumours. However, the links envisaged between the studio and the likes of Microsoft and Activision do seem appropriate and well-grounded.

It's become common knowledge that Microsoft is seeking out a crack squad of exclusive developers to push the Xbox 2 to the forefront of the market, and Activision has also been growing steadily over the last few years and could therefore contemplate such an acquisition as part of its future strategy. Eidos, on the other hand, has denied any involvement. Indeed, as Eidos was rumoured to be bought-out itself only a couple of months ago, such a move does seem unlikely.

How much these rumours bear truth will remain to be seen. Thus far, Peter Murphy (Lionhead's CEO) simply commented to MCV that: "It would be inappropriate for us to comment on what we believe to be unsubstantiated rumours."

We'll let you know for sure as soon as the full truth is uncovered.


ohms 2 Jul 2004 17:08

If Micro$oft want Lionhead I don't think Activision have a chance.
Who has the bigger bank balance. :)

Viclo 3 Jul 2004 06:10
It wouldn't surprise me in the least if this rumor is true.

Molyneux sold his previous company (bullfrog, I believe) to EA, and it looks as if he might be at it again. My guess is that they'll release BC and Fable, and then someone will buy them out...most likely Microsoft...
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Brown Force 3 Jul 2004 11:36
Yup Microsoft seem the most likeliest. They'll want to keep titles like Fable and BC exclusive to their console and rightly so, they'll bring them alot of income. If Microsoft want them so bad, its unlikely Activision will have a chance matching their offers.

Personally Lionhead joining Microsoft studios would be a good thing. With Microsofts money, it could open open even more does of innovation for the already innovative company. And Lionhead teamed with Rare would be an incredibly strong team. As well as all English as well...which is good to know.
Alan is my first name 3 Jul 2004 21:21
All gaming companies will ond day merge into one monopolizing mega-corporation! The end is coming! THE END IS COMING!
Joji 4 Jul 2004 18:55
Well this is the fear isn't it. This merger and take over stuff is gonna drive things into the ground eventually. Frankly I don't want MS to get any bigger than it is.

These large companies are like black holes sucking the life out of the industry. I have no control over it but I don't like it. I could see Mr Molyneux leaving once again to set up on his own if this goes ahead, once the hive like corporate suits come out and start to slowly consume their freedom, creativity and originality

Whatever goes on I doubt that games like Halo and Fable would have ever existed under a large mega corp. These are fruit of free minds without suits medling. I'm just glad some softcos are still free from the jaws that would consume.

It's mergers that are to blame for bad games like Driv3r because most wanna play it safe and not try anything new or different to what they know, to make a quick return. Taking chances is required sometimes, to break the shackles of restrictive suits and try something brave and new. Fable is this sort of game, a game that some suits would have said is too risky, and binned also because it's an rpg, and not a FPS.

Long live freedom.
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