Disney offers $454m to buy Ignition parent

Disney offers $454m to buy Ignition parent

By Rob Crossley

July 27th 2011 at 10:55AM

Proposed UTV acquisition could again throw Ignition plans off course

Troubled game development firm Ignition could soon be fully owned by Disney, if a major acquisition bid is agreed.

The Walt Disney Company already owns 50.4 per cent of Ignition’s parent, UTV Software, and today is willing to part with $454 million to own the company in full.

Much of the driving force behind the bid is UTV’s lucrative Bollywood films and TV shows, but a full acquisition would place Ignition’s future at the hands of Disney.

Ignition has undergone a punishing transition period where hundreds of staff have been made redundant in various waves of cutbacks. Develop understands the group is closing down all game development operations, with studios in the US, Japan and the UK either in the process of closing or gone already.

At least two game projects have been cancelled during this two-year downsize operation, and Ignition is today claiming it is set to become a publishing house for external developers only.

Yet the full Disney buyout may again change Ignition’s path.

Disney itself is edging away from the core games business, closing down studios such as Black Rock and Propaganda Games, but its interest in social games remains strong.

The group owns social groups Playdom and Penguin Games.