As part of my degree I had to produce a detailed report for the Independent Study module. I wrote mine on Square Enix Europe. I’ve got 85% for it and decided to publish one chapter 🙂
Eidos was founded in 1990 by Stephen Streater. The
company initially focused on video-compression and non-linear editing software
for the Risk OS, in the process revolutionising the video editing industry.
This was helped in no small part by Streater’s use of his PhD research on image
processing to create a new video compression technology, a technology they sold
to Oracle for £36m. “I thought we’d sell our technology to Larry
Ellison (Oracle)," says Streater. “Eidos had the only
technology that could do full-screen, full-motion video in software. And in a
$200 computer you can’t put in a $400 accelerator card.”
After they got the £36m in 1996, Eidos bought
Domark and Centregold Group, with its subsidiaries Core Design and
US Gold. From this point on Eidos focused on video-games, completely abandoning
video-editing; the distribution element of Centregold was sold to focus solely
on developing and publishing.
In 1996 Eidos published Tomb Raider (developed
by Core Design) – the most influential video game in its history.
In 1998 Paramount Pictures acquired the rights to
Tomb Raider and its protagonist, Lara Croft.
By 1999 Eidos acquired developers Crystal Dynamics
and Pyro Studios.
Stephen Streater leaves, multiplying his original
investment – , £4 – by a million.
Streater set up Forbidden Technologies,
licensing video editing technologies from Eidos, which by now was almost
completely concentrating on games.
By 2000 Eidos published a number of successful
games including Legacy of Kain(developed by Crystal
Dynamics), Hitman (developed by IO Interactive), Deus
Ex and five instalments of the Tomb Raider game
series. In 2000 Eidos also won two BAFTA awards for Deus Ex and Sydney
2000. In 2001 Eidos won another BAFTA forChampionship Manager.
Despite their other successes, Tomb Raider remains
the most important entity in the Eidos empire. Eidos shares regularly close
high on the NASDAQ and London Exchange before the release of a new installment
of the successful series.
Part of SCi
In late 2004 Eidos announced that it was in early
discussions with a small number of companies in relation to a possible
In early March 2005 it was revealed that the
company’s pre-tax losses had grown to £29m.
A couple of weeks later Eidos announced that it took
the second takeover bid from SCi – another well-known British video games
publisher and developer. SCi offered £74m and a clear plan to restructure the
company in an attempt to cut annual costs. By May Eidos became a part of SCi.
In 2008 SCi’s annual report revealed that the
company had suffered a £100m in loss. CEO Phil Rogers linked this to the
organisation’s restructuring. SCi then changed their own name to Eidos Plc.
including changing their stock exchange index from SEG to EID.
Part of Square Enix and rebranding to Square Enix
In 2009 Square Enix acquired Eidos Plc for £84.3
million. It was announced that Eidos would remain independent. Contrary to this
it was then announced that the European Division of Square Enix would merge
with Eidos to form Square Enix Europe. All the studios owned by
Eidos retained their names including Eidos Montreal and Eidos Shanghai.
This merger was accompanied by some cuts in
Despite this little changed in the routine of the
company. Phil Rogers remained CEO and Square Enix kept its promise not to
interfere with inner affairs of the former Eidos.
See this timeline for a brief history
of Core Design and Eidos