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-   -   JoWooD - Now Swedish … sort of! (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13884)

Gorath June 7th, 2011 07:05

JoWooD - Now Swedish … sort of!
 
The whole German internet, for example WoG, DiePresse.com and derStandard.at, reports that JoWood's ashes have been purchased by Wingefors Invest from Sweden. The transaction is being run through Wingefors daughter Game Outlet.
Here's a summary / translation of the few known details:
  • Game Outlet takes over the "preponderate part" or "significant parts" of JoWooD Austria's assets.
  • Game Outlet takes over 95% of Romanian QA company Quantic Labs.
  • Wingefors plans to continue operation at JoWooD in a scaled down way …
  • but there will be no employment guarantee for the remaining employees.
  • The old share holders get nothing.
  • The rate for the creditors is still unclear due to an ongoing legal issue.
Game Outlet is a distributor specialized in budget games and overstock. The business numbers available are ca. 25M EUR revenue and 6M+ games sold (source: DiePresse) in 2010, and 311M SEK (ca. 34.5M EUR) and 4M games according to the Wingefors homepage.

Comment:
This doesn't look good at all for the remaining JoWooD employees outside of Romania. Game Outlet's business is moving boxes, not publishing games. Plus they're buying assets, not the company. It smells like JoWooD or the potentially new company will be closed down when the dust has settled. Good luck to the people at JoWooD.
From Game Outlet's perspective the deal makes a lot of sense. JoWooD certainly had a lot of returns and finished goods, and selling this is Game Outlet's core business. The back catalog, and especially ArcaniA, means cheap supplies for their sales channel. So far it hasn't been confirmed if ArcaniA is part of the deal, though.
It's still unclear if or when Arcania: Fall of Setarrif will be released. A lot of parties are involved: at least JoWooD, BVT, Spellbound and Piranha Bytes. Nobody knows who has - or has not - which rights, who is entitled to what amount of royalties from whom. It can take years to sort this out.
More information.

Couchpotato June 7th, 2011 07:05

I doubt I will ever play there last two games that were almost finished. Arcania was a bland rpg but I wanted to play the expansion.

Alrik Fassbauer June 7th, 2011 12:38

Perhaps the creative things will be sold to another company ?

And this Swedish company will solely keep the distributions part of JoWood ?

Gorath June 7th, 2011 14:19

My guess is that they only want the existing stock in PAL standard, because that's what they're selling, and the licenses because it allows them to replicate as much new stock as they can sell. The QA company reportedly earns money, so why not take it too.
That would be a low to no risk deal for Game Outlet. Due to their own sales channel the games in stock are worth more for them than for other publishers without distribution. The back catalog allows them to fill their pipeline without having to pay royalties, with the exception of the console tax. Note that the console tax has already been paid for the existing stock.
The new Austrian daughter company will only be needed if Game Outlet does significant business in DACH, for example licensing to other budget distris. Although I don't know for sure but I doubt they're a significant player in the German budget market. It is said to be the most competitive and most advanced in the world, with strong players like AK Tronic (also handles EA Classics!), Rondomedia (Ubi Exclusive, Green Pepper), etc.

coaster June 7th, 2011 21:11

Do "assets" include electronic copies of titles? What about the JoWood titles on GoG or Steam for example, are they now owned by this group? I know there were some concerns that the JoWood titles might vanish from GoG if or when the company disappeared.

Gorath June 7th, 2011 21:16

This is not known. Everything is possible.

Alrik Fassbauer June 7th, 2011 23:41

This sounds to me as if they would want to ship the Arcabnia Add-On any minute.

And the yet unpublished adventure game called "Haunted" as well (for which I'm waiting for 2 years to be published, by the way. I played it at the first Games Com at the booth of the original developer or disctributor. The distributor went into insolvency and JoWood bought at least this game - according to the press it was nearly finished and almost ready for shipping even then, so I didn't quite understand why JoWood just didn't sell it last year, at least after the Games Com (I played it at the JoWood booth, then)).


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