Bigben Interactive acquires developer Cyanide for €20m

French publisher Bigben Interactive has acquired Styx: Shards of Darkness and Pro Cycling Manager developer Cyanide, the firm announced yesterday evening.

Bigben bought 100 per cent of the shares and voting rights of the studio for €20m (£17.6m), in order to strengthen its presence in development, having also recently increased its share in racing studio Kylotonn. It will also expand Bigben’s “offer to major gaming genres not yet present in its current portfolio or complementary to its catalogue, thus strengthening its publishing strategy,” the announcement said. The transaction is scheduled to be finalised in June 2018.

CEO and co-founder of Cyanide Patrick Pligersdorffer will carry on in his role, while the studio will keep its current publishing deals. Cyanide is currently working on Call of Cthulhu , Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and Space Hulk: Tactics (all due to release this year), which will still be published by Focus Home Interactive.

However, this acquisition is still a hard blow for Focus, as the firm had been publishing nearly every Cyanide title for the past 17 years. It’s also been Cyanide’s historical partner on its Tour de France titles. The Tour de France license will remain at Focus, French newspaper Le Monde reported, but the publisher now doesn’t have a studio to develop the franchise anymore. Le Monde added that Cyanide would be in negotiations to get the rights back. With this acquisition, Bigben is now likely to become the third bigger French publisher, the newspaper continued, taking Focus’ spot. Le Monde also reported that Focus had been trying to buy Cyanide for the past few months, but didn’t get the go-ahead from its supervisory board, which is what led to the resignation of Focus CEO Cédric Lagarrigue.

Bigben’s CEO Alain Falc commented: "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 double-A segment. Bigben is also proud to welcome to its group the talents of Cyanide, one of the most creative French studios in the sector and we will be supporting their upswing towards new, even more ambitious projects.”

Pligersdorffer commented: “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. 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.”

About Marie Dealessandri

Marie Dealessandri is MCV’s former senior staff writer. After testing the waters of the film industry in France and being a radio host and reporter in Canada, she settled for the games industry in London in 2015. She can be found (very) occasionally tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate, Hollow Knight and the Dead Cells soundtrack.

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