New-look Curve eyes more acquisitions in bid to rejuvenate UK publishing scene

The new owner of UK publisher Curve says it is ‘absolutely’ open to further mergers and acquisitions.

Curve was acquired by Kuju-owner The Catalis Group last week. Kuju and Curve were then merged to form a new business: Curve Digital Entertainment.

The firm’s new boss Dominic Wheatley – the co-founder of Eidos – says it is a ‘shame’ about the lack of great British games publishers. And is open to merging and acquiring other studios in an effort to create a new British publishing powerhouse.

We are not trying to recreate things from the past necessarily,” Wheatley, who was part of the Britsoft movement in the 1990s told MCV. But the link is that there isn’t really a big British publisher anymore, and I think that is a shame.

It is a challenge in a way, and it is a little bit a case of picking up the flag and saying: ‘Come on, let’s try and do something that employs people here and gives creatives a chance to get their products marketed from a company that will make decisions right here in the UK’. We don’t have to ask Japan or San Francisco for sign off, we are right here and able. Let’s band together.”

In terms of more acquisitions, he said: If there was another company, particularly a developer, who wanted to join up and be part of the team, we would certainly look at that. We’re a publicly quoted company, they could merge themselves with us and know that they have a great home from the publishing side, while they get on with the development. We’re absolutely up for that.

But the big charge we are making is in nurturing talent; build their skills and products overtime, so that they become stars. We are already doing that in a small way with Kuju, because we did this thing called Kuju Startup Fund, and we raised 350,000 – not a great deal of money – via crowdfunding. It was an experiment, and we wanted to see how the model worked. We have bagged three indie games and we are going to publish those.”

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