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Games sector goes for growth

Added: (Fri Jan 12 2001)

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12 January 2001




Games Sector goes for Growth

The UK video and computer games industry grew rapidly in 2000 in the face of the well-publicised delays in the launch of Playstation 2.

In the six week festive period, an estimated 240 million* of games software was sold, a new record. Over 10 million units* were sold at retail, 17% up on the same period in 1999, confirming once again the rise of gaming - long regarded the preserve of ‘anoraked’ enthusiasts - as a mass consumer market.

As the games industry has grown in stature, it has also undergone a wave of consolidation. Most notably in 2000, we saw:

the sale by US toy giants Mattel and Hasbro of their troubled games divisions, once considered major industry players;

the acquisition of Red Storm, Tom Clancy’s massively successful games publishing company, by low key French group Ubisoft;

the huge amount of speculation over the future of Eidos, the UK’s largest games publisher and home of the record-breaking Tomb Raider series.

Jeremy Furniss, partner at unquoted mergers and acquisitions (M&A) boutique Livingstone Guarantee and head of their dedicated Games team, commented:

“With a difficult 2000 and the uncertainty of Playstation 2 out of the way, the industry is now focusing on a good three years ahead. We are bound to see much higher levels of M&A activity in 2001 among both publishers and games developers.
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“There is no place today for the development studios of 15 people that have historically dominated the UK sector. Games development is officially big business and the developers need to get bigger to survive. This may mean buy or be bought.”


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Issued on behalf of Livingstone Guarantee by Prowse & Co. Ltd

For enquiries contact:
Prowse & Co Ltd: Sue Wilkins or Jane Lackenby, 01372 363386 or e-mail sue@prowse.co.uk or jane@prowse.co.uk


Notes to Editors

Livingstone Guarantee is the UK’s largest unquoted M&A boutique specialising in deals with values ranging from 5 million to 100 million. In 2000, it completed 44 transactions. The Games team is the UK’s only M&A team dedicated to the Games industry.


* Figures published by ChartTrack.

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