Shares in British game publisher Sci Entertainment, parent company of “Tomb Raider” maker Eidos, plunged more than 50% Friday after the company announced that discussions for a potential takeover had ended, and that the release of four games had been delayed to late this year.
That’s bad news for Warner Bros., which owns 10% of Sci’s stock and also distributes the company’s games in the U.S.
Sci said in September that it was in discussions with several potential suitors. According to news reports, those included NBC Universal and French vidgame publisher Ubisoft. However, Sci said late last week it “no longer believes that a sale of the company for its full value is likely to be achieved at the current time.”
Warner Bros. previously considered buying Sci before taking its 10% stake, but is not believed to have been one of the recent suitors.
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Most prominent game being delayed to the fourth quarter of this year is “Tomb Raider: Underworld,” the next installment in the publisher’s most valuable franchise.
Sci said its most prominent holiday release, “Kane and Lynch: Dead Men,” has sold a solid 1 million-plus units worldwide.