Two separate British newspapers, the Financial Times and The Guardian, have suggested that UK game publisher SCi (Tomb Raider, Reservoir Dogs
) may be in advanced discussions to acquire fellow British publisher Empire Interactive.
Board members from Empire had previously indicated that the company was speaking now only to a single party, previously speculated to be Guitar Hero
publisher RedOctane or long-time U.S. distributor Vivendi.
SCi acquired UK rival Eidos last year, under which name it now publishes, and has previously confirmed plans for further acquisitions out of a £17.4 million ($31.5 million) war chest derived through a share placement, but it is unclear whether the continuing integrating of SCi and Eidos would make it difficult to integrate another purchase so swiftly.
Although never a major player even in the British market, Empire has established links with Japanese publishers such as Taito and Sega, and also operates the Xplosiv budget re-release label. The publisher is currently valued at around £5 million ($9 million), according to the UK papers, although it is unknown what kind of offer SCi may currently be discussing.