Every now and then, interviews begin with a list of things that cannot be discussed.
This is usually due to an over-zealous PR person, often American. When the shutters go up it’s not pretty or, by definition, very interesting
In the case of Eidos, however, it is perfectly reasonable that there may be no-go areas when MCV rolls up to talk futures. After all, this publicly-listed company will be owned by Square Enix within weeks.
Bosses at the publisher’s UK and European offices are hardly going to want to rock the boat. But they do want to talk – for they have to guide
Eidos through its spring and summer release schedule.
SPRINGING INTO LIFE
Indeed, Eidos is likely to have worked through its autumn titles before any ramifications from the deal with Square Enix come to affect Wimbledon HQ. So the world has to be kept informed, to some degree at least.
For the record, the denied zones in MCV’s interview are Square Enix, and the company’s interim financials and sales forecasts.
The trade and consumer care more about product than what goes on behind the scenes anyway. And the same goes for the consumer,” offers European head of publishing Patrick Melchior.
In recent times Eidos has switched to a studio focus and generally a ‘less is more’ approach to publishing.
With the exception of Tomb Raider, things were perhaps a little too quiet last year, but there are hopes in 2009 for a variety of titles.
These kick off through spring and summer with the likes of Battlestations Pacific, Championship Manager 2009 Edition and Batman: Arkham Asylum.
There are also significant hopes and trade interest in Just Cause 2 and Mini Ninjas.
Every title has its challenges, not least Champ Manager – but this is a franchise moving in the right direction.
We’re very excited about Championship Manager 2009 for a number of different reasons. Firstly, we have gone back to the fundamentals of the game and they are now spot on,” says UK general manager Bob Burridge.
A lot of work has gone into getting the basics absolutely right and making sure Championship Manager 2009 is a completely new version of the game rather than a 1.5 version, which is something this genre has suffered from historically.
Then we have some permanent promotions in place with many true football brands and media partners throughout the UK and Europe, such as FourFourTwo, The Daily Mail, ITV and The Times.
I think a lot of people are going to be pleasantly surprised. This will be an impressive new chapter in the story of the franchise.”
Hopes are high for Battlestations and Batman, if to different degrees.
Battlestations is in a genre which isn’t mass market, but the game quality is incredible,” adds Melchior. For someone that likes war games, then it’s the best of the genre.
And as for Batman, even though there is no film or new TV based on this story, we know we have a winner.
Arkham Asylum is a fabulous game, quite simply one of the best Eidos has ever published. And you have to remember that there is a huge amount of appeal for Batman across the board.”
So whilst stepping carefully around the minefields of corporate PR, the message from Eidos is more than clear: There may have been distractions, but it hasn’t been distracted.
Until anybody tells them otherwise, it is business as usual for the UK team and they are looking forward to making the most of what is on the slate.