EA may have stolen the title of ‘most cash happy acquirer’ last month when it spent big ($860m big) to buy BioWare/Pandemic, but it seems Warner Bros wasn’t being tightfisted either when it came to buying Traveller’s Tales.
A report on the Manchester Evening News says Traveller’s Tales director Jon Burton is now £100m richer following yesterday’s surprise swoop for his studio’s parent firm TT Games by Warner Bros. The report also says Burton owned around 80 per cent of the company with the rest held by the rest of the management team.
However, industry chat says Warner spent much more than £100m for the TT Games development and publishing operation – which is responsible for Lego Star Wars, amongst others – possibly even double the amount stated in the Manchester press.
One analyst told Develop: "Given the company’s well-known strength in delivering best-selling games, its ownership of the Lego rights, plus a recent reinvestment in its facilities including a motion-capture studio, TT was a prime, very high-value investment."
The acquisition is another bold step for Warner Bros’ plans for interactive entertainment, which as Develop was the first to reveal back in August, is to include acquisitions and more deals with third party studios. The company’s publishing chiefs subsequently told our sister magazine MCV that WB plans to be a $1bn games firm.
As part of yesterday’s deal, Traveller’s Tales is to remain independent and keep working with external partners on the likes of Lego Indiana Jones, which it is producing for LucasArts next year. At the same time it will be working on WB-owned properties as well, such as the upcoming Lego Batman title.