How an indie snatched Carmageddon from Square-Enix

How an indie snatched Carmageddon from Square-Enix

By Rob Crossley

June 22nd 2011 at 10:09AM

Final Fantasy firm sold the lucrative IP for cash, Stainless Games man says

The original studio behind Carmageddon was left stunned in 2009 when Square Enix decided to sell the game’s IP, according to a person close to the matter.

"We'd been talking to [now obsolete publisher] SCI about doing more Carmageddon work six to seven years ago,” said Stainless Games boss Patrick Buckland (pictured).

Buckland said his studio was still hopeful to get more licensed work from Eidos, even after the publisher was bought by SCI in 2005.

"We made [Eidos] offers and tried to buy the licence off them, but there was no way that Eidos or SCI were ever going to sell it," he said in an interview with Gamasutra.

Yet, according to Buckland, Stainless Games in 2009 had a stroke of luck when it was told the Carmageddon IP was suddenly up for sale.

In the same year, Japanese Square Enix acquired Eidos in a deal worth more than £80 million. As part of the buyout, Square Enix took control of the driving game’s licence, but it appears the Final Fantasy publisher was keen to divest.

“Square had very valuable IP that they had purchased that they were never going to use, and they took the surprising decision they were willing to sell it," Buckland said.

“Most companies would probably just sit on the IP; why sell it? We paid real money for it, though."

The Carmageddon licence is now in the hands of its creators Stainless, the longstanding indie studio based in the Isle of Wight.

The group is building a new download-only game based on the IP. Carmageddon: Reincarnation, is in early stages of development and due for a 2012 release.