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Murdoch's News Corp considers gaming acquisitions

Another media giant sets its sights on the videogames industry.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch may be about to make a move into the videogames industry, with the COO of his giant News Corporation group confirming that the company is seeking an acquisition in the sector.

Speaking at a US investment conference, Peter Chernin admitted that News Corp was "kicking the tires of pretty much all video games companies" - up to and including market leader Electronic Arts.

"We see [games] as a big business and would like to get into it," Chernin told the conference, according to a report in today's Financial Times.

"We are struggling with the gap between companies like Electronic Arts, which come with a high price tag, and the next tier of companies," he explained. "These may be too focused on one or two product lines."

He highlighted Activision as one games publisher which is being considered for purchase. The Californian company, which is one of the biggest publishers in the world, has a market capitalisation of under $3 billion, compared to around $19 billion for Electronic Arts.

Chernin did not give any details of what size of investment News Corporation might be prepared to make in the games industry, although he did say that the company's size and cash position give it flexibility in making decisions such as this - and he also noted that other media companies are also currently interested in moving into gaming.

Last year Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone acquired a majority shareholding in publisher Midway, stoking expectations that the giant media firm will either buy out the game publisher or establish a closer working relationship with it.

News Corporation is led by controversial tycoon Rupert Murdoch, and its holdings include the Fox and Sky television networks (including the Fox News and Sky News channels) along with British newspapers The Sun and The Times and book publisher Harper Collins.

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