BioWare, Pandemic, Elevation Partners Come Together
11.03.05 - 1:58 AM

Last year, Elevation Partners, a Venture Capital firm with such names as Bono (of U2 fame), and former EA President John Riccitiello, set out to purchase British publisher Eidos, but eventually lost out to SCi. It looks like they're back at it again, creating a "creative and management partnership" with Baldur's Gate and Jade Empire creators BioWare and Full Spectrum Warrior and Mercenaries masterminds Pandemic Studios. Both major independent developers, the new company formed, a holdings company known as Bioware/Pandemic Studios, will see BioWare's co-founders, Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, as well as Pandemic's co-founders, Andrew Goldman and Josh Resnick, as shareholders and executives in the company. Where does that leave the position of CEO? With Riccitiello, of course.

The combined 400 employees of both studios will gain stock in the new holdings company, and the three active development studios in Los Angeles, Edmonton, and Brisbane will see operation continue as normal. Elevation has said that the investment is much larger than the slated $126 million USD takeover of Eidos. The Bioware/Pandemic Studios holding company is a "combined investment" of over $300 million USD, future funding calculated, as well. Elevation states that the creation of BioWare/Pandemic studios seeks to avoid the traditional role of publishers and developers, by allowing the studio to gain development funds elsewhere than game publishers.

"Some developers have chosen the path of selling to publishers and thatís a viable path," Resnick informed GameSpot.com. "We have specifically chosen not to go down that route because it was important for us to maintain our independence. You know we really look for inspiration in companies like Pixar, because they're able to remain independent from distribution partners and increase their focus on creating great products."

BioWare co-founder Muzyka told GameSpot that this doesn't mean that former publisher ties would be severed. "They might feel threatened by something like this, but we absolutely see the reverse," Muzyka is quoted as saying. "We really do look at this new venture as a means to improve our ability to deliver a great product - and that's always good for our publishing partners."

Thanks go out to Tor Thorsen and the folks at GameSpot for the news and the quotes.

John McCarroll

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