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30/10/2007

GarageGames: Histoire d'une acquisition...

Voici une histoire intéressante: GarageGames, la petite boite indy qui monte, s'est fait récemment racheter par un très gros conglomérat, preuve de l'attrait de plus en plus potant pour l'industrie du jeu vidéo. Ce genre d'affaire est toujours un peu obscure. On l'apprend quand le contrat est signé, on sabre le champagne, et puis voilà.

 

Mais cette fois ci, Jeff Tunnel raconte le processus de rachat, de la prise de contact à la signature!

 

A year ago when I was on my first vacation to Italy and France, I got an email from Josh Williams in an Internet cafe. It was really short, “IAC wants to talk to us.” We had just gone through a couple of months on another acquisition offer that we ended up turning down. I was tired, and ready to just put pedal to the metal with GG and make it go on our own, so my answer was “no thanks.

 

Then the business side of me kicked in, and I said, “OK, I’m in for discussion, but they need to allow us to keep doing things the way we are, i.e. making game development accessible to everyone, and treat developers like we want to be treated.” BTW, that was pretty much the reaction from all of the GG partners/stakeholders, so Josh pursued it, they loved our strategy, and it kept looking good.

 

So, as soon as I got back, Josh and I made a trip down to Los Angeles to meet with Victor Kaufman, the Vice Chairman of IAC, to see if we should move forward, and if a deal made sense. We left the meeting stoked. Victor is a finance guy, but he has made movies and done a lot of really creative things in the past, and he made us feel welcomed and genuinely understood what we were trying to do.

 

On the way home we circled through Portland to meet with Andy Yang (that we recruited to come to GG after the deal was done… now he works at GG), who was very instrumental in working with Shana Fisher inside IAC to develop their gaming strategy. Andy was there to make sure we passed the technology hurdle. It was pouring rain outside, so we huddled over a great lunch and we all seemed to hit it off well. Again, Josh and I were stoked. We kept meeting great people that really seemed to understand what we wanted to do, just in a bigger way!

 

[ GarageGames

 

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