- Jul 5, 2000
NEW DELHI: Zapak Digital entertainment, the online gaming company promoted by Anil Ambani-led ADAG group, is all set to buy out Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) for around $300 million (Rs 1,200 crore).
According to sources close to the development, the deal will be finalised within the next few days. Sony Online was on the block for the past two weeks and Zapak, which has been looking for acquiring international studios, is finally said to have reached a consensus over the valuation of Sony Online.
?The deal is almost through. It is in the final stages of negotiations and by next week, Zapak will have a full right to all content, owned and published by Sony Online,? sources told SundayET.
Sony Online Entertainment is the game development and game publishing unit of Sony and posts revenue of around $ 150 million (the company doesn?t reveal the exact details for the division). It has in the past come out with popular games such as Everquest, PlanetSide, Star War Galaxies and Vanguard. SOE?s headquartered at San Diego, California, with additional game development studios located in Austin, Texas, Denver, Colorado and Seattle.
This acquisition is in line with the future plans of Zapak Digital, which is planning to enter the gaming space in China by early next year. ?This makes perfect sense for us, as around 80% of content in the gaming industry is manufactured internationally. Buying out Sony, will not only give us access but also expand our reach in the global market,? said a senior Zapak Official.
The major expenses in the gaming industry is on content and marketing, and Zapak aims to reduce the cost of publishing a game by buying out those studios and relocating them to India. ?This will reduce the cost drastically from $30 mn to $10mn, which will give us the advantage to channelise our funds towards marketing and other activities,? the official said.
In the recent past, Sony has aligned with Virgin Comics, a Bangalore-based collaboration of famed, self-help guru Deepak Chopra, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and Richard Branson of Virgin Group. After the proposed acquisition, Zapak plans to retain control over all the deals, which has been signed by Sony Online.
According to the latest IMRB report, there are about 2.8 million online gamers in India and the online gaming industry is worth Rs 21 crore. Zapak is one of the top players in the Indian gaming space.
Just saw this too... Smeldy denies it here...