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Innovation & Design

Super-Developer Plans to Go Public

No other game studio that doesn't double as a publisher has gone public. If the plan goes through, the entity will emulate Pixar Animation Studios, which isn't under the control of any single media conglomerate. The developers are hoping that the move will allow more creative control over new projects, as well as a larger share in profits. In theory, the combined studios would assume much of the financial risk associated with early game development in order to gain leverage in negotiations of sales revenues with publishers. Under this scheme, the studios may also undertake some roles normally attributed to publishers, such as marketing.

Analyst Michael Pachter is skeptical that the plan would work at all.

"They don't have any chance of success," he said frankly. "There's not an appetite to segment the different links in the value chain. The best evidence of that is that we have companies like Viacom, Disney and News Corp."

Former EA president and co-founder of Elevation Partners John Riccitiello is currently guiding the the business operations of Pandemic / Bioware. He denies that he's trying to maneuver a "powerplay" against publishers.

Bioware is responsible for the popular RPG Knights of the Old Republic, and Pandemic developed Full Spectrum Warrior, among other titles.

By Kris Graft

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