Annapurna resolves over $200m in debt and avoids bankruptcy

Annapurna Pictures, the parent company of publisher Annapurna Interactive, has reportedly resolved more than $200 million in debt. According to Variety, creditors “will receive roughly $0.82 on the dollar to cure more than $200 million in debt” after a string of box office failures and excessive losses took the firm to the brink of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2019.

It’s a curious twist, as the subsidiary game publisher arm, Annapurna Interactive, has made waves with a number of thoughtful indie titles, including What Remains of Edith Finch and Ashen.

Looking ahead, Annapurna will not be seeking a new line of credit but will instead be financing projects on a “case-by-case basis” or funded directly by company CEO, Megan Ellison. In a memo to staff at the time, Ellison reportedly dismissed the claims and reaffirmed her commitment to the firm.

“Restructuring deals with financial institutions is not uncommon, yet the process is usually handled without a spotlight on it. Fortunately/unfortunately, people like to write about me and my family,” Ellison wrote in her August staff memo. “That said, it is of tremendous importance to me that you all know we are as committed as ever to this company and are in full support of our future.”

Annapurna Pictures launched Annapurna Interactive in December 2016 and debuted with Giant Sparrow’s What Remains of Edith Finch and Jason Roberts’ Gorogoa.

Annapurna’s founder and CEO, Megan Ellison, said at the time: “I’ve had a great passion for video games for as long as I can remember. Growing up, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was one of my all-time favourites. My brother and I ran up quite a bill calling the 1-900 numbers for tips on those games, before the internet provided game-guides. The artistry and diversity of interactive storytelling is exciting and we look forward to exploring the limitless possibilities in gaming. We want to empower artists across this medium to make Annapurna Interactive their home and I believe we’ve assembled the perfect team to make that happen.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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