The Infogrames Strain

French publisher just keeps on growing

Source - CTW

French publisher Infogrames has swallowed Hasbro Interactive, with the announcement of a mostly paper deal worth $100 million. Infogrames will buy Hasbro's computer games division and enter into a fifteen year licensing agreement, allowing them to make games based on Hasbro properties, which includes everything from popular board games like Monopoly and Scrabble to the classic Atari arcade games of the 1980s. They will also take over Hasbro's brand new online games portal Games.com as part of the deal, which is expected to be finalised by March 2001.

"Infogrames and Hasbro are truly poised to become worldwide leaders in the digital entertainment market", according to Infogrames CEO Bruno Bonnell. "Infogrames' external growth strategy consists of three requirements: a willingness of the prospective partner's management to share our strategic vision, a complementary set of skills and products, and finally, value for our shareholders. The Hasbro Interactive and Games.com acquisition meets these criteria. Infogrames' access to Hasbro's long list of well-known properties fits perfectly with our long-term publishing strategy to become the leader in family entertainment."

Speaking of family entertainment, Infogrames recently announced that they have passed off eagerly anticipated first person shooter "Duke Nukem Forever" to Take 2 Interactive. Although the game is almost certain to be a huge hit when it is finally released next year, the strippers and gore-inducing weaponry probably didn't quite gel with Infogrames' squeaky clean family-friendly image. The whole Duke Nukem franchise (including the age-old Duke 3D and several console games) was included in the deal, just a year or two after Infogrames inherited it from GT Interactive during their take-over of the American publisher.

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