Bigben buying Styx & Blood Bowl devs Cyanide Studio

French publishers Bigben Interactive are buying French developers Cyanide Studio, the mob behind games including Styx sneak ’em ups, the Blood Bowl adaptation, and the Game Of Thrones RPG. Cyanide’s games tend not to quite come together while being interesting or admirable in their ambition, mid-budget games of a sort we don’t see much any more – I’m always interested to see what they’re up to. Bigben are glad to be getting a development studio of their own, while Cyanide say this will help them expand and make better games.

Bigben are paying €20 million (£17.5m/$24m) for Cyanide, half in cash and half in shares. Barring unforeseen problems, the acquisition should be completed in June.

“We are pleased to join the Bigben Group, an international reference player in video games, moved by a vision and an ambition which fully correspond to our culture and our growth targets,” Cyanide CEO Patrick Pligersdorffer said in yesterday’s announcement. “Joining the Bigben Group gives us a unique opportunity to increase our production capacity in order to create ever more qualitative games and to maximize their commercial performance.”

If you say so!

“This acquisition is a capital milestone in Bigben’s strategy as it greatly enhances our ability to create new games that meet our ambitions in the AA segment,” Bigben CEO Alain Falc said. Right. AA. Gotcha. So we’ve got AAA, AA, Triple-I… what a lexical hole business is.

Bigben are mostly known for publishing the World Rally Championship games and other sport ’em ups, so-so licensed games made by external studios. However, in recent years they’ve extended their range, publishing games including the Outcast remake, 2Dark, The Sinking City, and Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter.

Those last two games are notable because they were made by Frogwares, a studio who–like Cyanide–have typically partnered with Focus Home Interactive. Seems Bigben have been muscling in on Focus’s territory.

French newspaper Le Monde relay word from secret sources that Focus’s management had tried to buy Cyanide but the board shot it down. Supposedly, Le Monde say, this is one of the reasons why Focus president Cédric Lagarrigue resigned in April. Oh, Le Monde also say that the Tour de France license–made into management games by Cyanide–will stay with Focus but claim Cyanide are negotiating to nab the rights.

7 Comments

  1. kud13 says:

    So what does this mean for the Cyanide projects that Focus currently has listed as in development? (Call of Cthulhu; Werewolf: the Apocalypse).

    It would suck if smth happens to these due to the buyout

    • skyturnedred says:

      Presumably this gives them more resources to complete those projects.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        That’s what I’m hoping for. It’d be great if they would turn out better than Cyanide’s reputation, which I can’t comment on, having only played Of Orcs and Men, but I really enjoyed it.

  2. lglethal says:

    Not particularly related to this news but there is really a French publisher called Big Ben? They were taking the piss when they named there studio right? 😉

  3. Darth Gangrel says:

    I liked Of Orcs and Men a lot more than I thought I would. Have the first Styx game waiting for me on Steam (and Aarklash Legacy on GOG) and will get the second one if I like the first Styx.

  4. Captain Iglo says:

    I had an OK time with the 1st Styx game. It was never particularly exciting, but sneak-and-stab-em-while-they’re-taking-a-piss-em-up are a genre I’m extremely fond of.

  5. tpullo says:

    I thought the Blood Bowl games were both fantastic. ‘AAA’ games tend to be linear system-hogs these days. Targeting the largest consumer base for the most money, we end up with simple, expensive games. Oh well, at least it’s not Ubisoft that bought them.

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