This just in: BSE listed UTV has entered into an agreement to acquire 80 percent stake in True Games Interactive, an Orange County, California based online gaming startup. The stake is being acquired via IG Interactive Entertainment, a 100 percent subsidiary of UTV, but the amount being paid for the acquisition has not been disclosed. True Games intends to release their first game in the beginning of 2009.
With this acquisition, UTV now has investments in two gaming companies that operate in a hit-or-miss environment: Ignition Entertainment (Console Games), and True Games (Massively Multiplayer Online Games). Much like the movie business, quite a lot of money and time is required to develop such games; it’s not a quarter-on-quarter play. If the game succeeds, expect recurring revenues as a franchise gets established. If it fails…
Recent announcements from True Games reveal that the company has partnered with games developer Petroglyph to publish a free-to-play game for the PC. Petroglyph has published games like Star Wars: Empire At War and Universe at War series. In May, they tied up with Live Gamer for a marketplace for player-to-player trading of virtual items. A free-to-play game essentially makes money via buying and selling of virtual items and advertising.
True Games was founded in January 2008 by two industry execs from Massively Multiplayer Online Games publisher K2 Networks – Jeff Lujan and Bob Drobish. Lujan was SVP of Global Publishing at K2, while Drobish was responsible for overall company revenue, Live Game Operations, Technology & Infrastructure, Customer Support, and India Operations.
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