Firaxis, Take-Two, Chris Sawyer, and AtariYou guys are sending me quite a bit of e-mail asking me what I think of the announcement yesterday that Take-Two bought Firaxis.
When Infogames sold the rights to the Civilization series to Take-Two last year, the price was (according to Gamespot) $22.3 million. So if the rights to the series were worth over twenty million, how much do you think Firaxis is worth?
I'm guessing more than that. I don't know how much more, but even twenty million is some serious scratch.
I don't think Firaxis needed a cash infusion, but if somebody walks up to you and offers $20 million plus, why not take it? Just be sure the contract is written in such a way that you won't get screwed if Take-Two ever blows up, which is a distinct possibility.
And in other big-money gaming news, there's an item over at Blue's News that Chris Sawyer is sueing Atari, claiming underpayment of Roller Coaster Tycoon royalties. The amount in dispute is $4.8 million, but more interesting is the revelation that Sawyer has already netted $30 million in royalties.
I had no idea that pixelated children puking near overflowing trash cans was worth that much.
I wonder if the economics of the industry are going to shake out like this: an extremely small tier of incredibly successful, stunningly rich designers, then a gigantic gap before you reach the next tier. I believe the percentage of unprofitable games must be much higher than the percentage of unprofitable films, given that films have so many additional revenue streams over time.