PE Firm Spends $300M On Game Companies

A Menlo Park-based private equity firm has made investments in two independent game developers, Edmonton Canada-based BioWare and Los Angeles-based Pandemic Studios, in a deal that makes the private equity firm the majority owner of the two development companies. The deal is a first in the video game industry. John Riccitiello of Elevation Partners will become chief executive of the holding company, BioWare/Pandemic Studios. The companies said that the move will reduce the pressure off of the gaming companies to rush games to market, and will allow them to add support for additional gaming consoles. The deal creates a company with 450 employees, spread across Los Angeles, Edmonton, and Brisbane Australia.