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SCi reveals Eidos plan

Brand retained for all games.

British publisher SCi has announced that it's to begin using the Eidos brand for all of its future products, as part of the integration process of the two businesses following SCi's acquisition of its larger rival in mid-May.

Although the group's corporate identity will continue to be SCi Entertainment Group, all of its games will be branded as Eidos - a name which has significantly more recognition with consumers and retailers alike, especially in North America.

[Or perhaps SCi-Not-Eidos? No? - Ed]

SCi also plans to use Eidos' overseas muscle to build its business, and will be retaining the North American publishing division of Eidos, based in San Francisco, which it plans to grow and use to distribute all of its products in the area.

However, a number of SCi's current and forthcoming titles are covered by an existing distribution deal with Take Two, which has been the firm's partner in North America for titles such as the Conflict series.

Similarly, SCi plans to use Eidos' existing European distribution mechanisms for all of its future titles. The firm believes that this will allow it to grow its margins on overseas sales significantly.

A number of financial changes to the group will also be implemented, most notably the delisting of Eidos from the NASDAQ stock exchange - a process which is already underway as part of SCi's commitment to reduce the high level of costs within Eidos associated with being a public company.

SCi will also be changing its financial year-end from September 30th to June 30th, coinciding with Eidos' accounting policies; as a result the company plans to announce nine-month results leading up to June 30th this year, and incorporating six weeks of Eidos' figures (from May 16th to June 30th). The first set of full-year figures for the entire group will be for the year to June 30th, 2006.

The changes were announced as part of SCi's interim results statement for the six months to March 31st, which revealed a pre-tax loss in line with expectations of UKP 3.8 million on turnover of UKP 6.0 million.

The company - SCi, that is, since the figures don't include any of Eidos' numbers - released only one game during the period, movie tie-in Constantine which is described as performing as per expectations.

Looking forward, SCi expects that its next set of figures - the nine month results to June 30th - will be a loss, including a UKP 7 million exceptional charge related to the acquisition and integration of Eidos.

However, the firm is confident that the profitability of the group will quickly be restored, with today's statement indicating that it is happy with the progress being made with Eidos so far.

"Our strategy to restore Eidos to profitability is well underway," commented SCi chief executive Jane Cavanagh, "and we are confident this will be achieved in the year ending 30 June 2006.

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