Kalisto in crisis
French games company apparently on brink of bankruptcy
Bordeaux based computer game developer Kalisto is the latest company to announce poorer than expected results as the gaming and internet industries continue to slump. No great surprise there perhaps, as most games companies have done badly in the last year, but this case is rather drastic, with Kalisto reporting revenues of just Fr 19m (about $2.7m) during the year 2000, compared to the Fr 170m that had been forecasted last year. This has resulted in an incredible Fr 175m loss for the year (roughly $25m), or almost ten times their total revenues. Put another way, that's going on for $1m for every one of the company's 300 employees.
French stock brokers Wargny predicted that "unless there is a takeover by a competitor, we cannot see what could prevent filing for bankruptcy", adding that they thought it "incredible" that the company had tried to hide the gargantuan losses until this late in the day. Trading in Kalisto shares has been suspended since the beginning of March as rumours spread of the impending announcement. According to a report in the Financial Times, Kalisto has blamed the poor results on the delayed release of the new console systems and "unsuccessful licensing negotiations".
The company had recently announced a distribution deal with French internet company Wanadoo, who were to publish three of Kalisto's games over the next year. The future of those titles is now in doubt, along with the massively multiplayer role-playing game which Kalisto were designing based on the popular Highlander movies and TV series.