French-headquartered publisher and developer Infogrames, recently in the news over the resignation of CEO Jim Caparro
at its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary Atari Inc., has made another major change to its line-up, with the news that Hasbro has reacquired many of its gaming rights from the company, for a sum of $65 million.
Infogrames, which now publishes its games under the Atari label, originally acquired Hasbro Interactive in 2000 for $100 million, in a deal that included rights to all Microprose games, the Atari hardware and software, the Games.com online gaming site, and electronic rights to all Hasbro properties for a period of 20 years. Infogrames then merged the company with acquired U.S. property GT Interactive under the current Atari Inc. brand.
However, Hasbro has now chosen to take back overall control of its properties’ interactive endeavors, although the companies will continue to work together, with Infogrames retaining licenses for ten different Hasbro franchises.
As such, Infogrames has been granted an exclusive ten year license for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing franchise, which will include forthcoming games such as D&D Online
, Neverwinter Nights 2
. Infogrames also signed a new seven year license for Hasbro board game franchises Monopoly, Scrabble, Game of Life, Battleship, Clue (aka Cludeo), Yatzhee, Simon, Risk and Boggle.
The properties Hasbro has chosen to retain for itself are largely toy-based and include Transformers, My Little Pony, Tonka, Magic: The Gathering, Connect Four, Candyland and Playschool. Infogrames will maintain the right to sell and distribute current Hasbro licensed titles during a transaction period of unspecified length.
Hasbro president and CEO Alfred J. Verrechhia commented with regard to this deal: "We think this is a great move for both companies. This new agreement allows Hasbro to fully exploit its brands in a wide variety of growth platforms including next generation consoles, around the world, while at the same time giving Infogrames the rights to 10 popular Hasbro brands."
According to Infogrames chairman and CCO Bruno Bonnell: "This agreement is consistent with our objective of providing more resources for the Group's growth, while concentrating on brands with a significant potential, and investing in Atari's new products. By securing a ten-year license to Dungeons & Dragons
and obtaining seven year rights to nine major properties for wireless, Internet and interactive television formats, we have strengthened our relationship with Hasbro and taken steps in anticipation of technological developments in our industry."