|Industry||Computer and video game industry|
Microïds Games For All
Microïds is a French software brand belonging to Anuman that publishes and develops video games. In recent years the company's collection of brands and game licenses has grown since being a part of MC2 France. In late 2007 the Microïds brand was relaunched and since the beginning of 2010 Microïds has been a part of Anuman.
Company foundation (1985–2003)
Microïds was founded in 1985 by Elliot Grassiano. For the first 10 years, Microïds was a development house, but in 1995 they expanded into publishing and distribution as well. Microïds France at this time was located in Vélizy (near Paris), France. The company also then expanded worldwide with a publisher in Milan, Italy (Microïds Italy), distributor in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom (Microïds Ltd) and a developer in Montréal, Canada (Microïds Canada Inc.).
Merger with MC2 France (2003–2009)
In 2003, Emmanuel Olivier (founder of Index+) created a new company called MC2 France which subsequently merged with Microïds. In September 2003 MC2-Microïds acquired Wanadoo Edition as part of a deal with the French government for Microïds to emerge from bankruptcy protection. As part of the deal, Wanadoo also became a 12% shareholder of Microïds. Emmanuel Olivier became CEO when Elliot Grassiano left the company. In February 2004 the company had more than 150 employees including 95 in Montréal.
In March 2005 Ubisoft announced their intention to acquire MC2-Microïds (Microïds Canada) and to integrate it into Ubisoft's Montreal studios. This deal only included fifty of MC2-Microïds' employees and technical equipment; however, the agreement did not include any transfer of intellectual property. The UK arm Microids Ltd was wound up between 2003 and 2005, and Microïds Italy split off from the company in 2005, turning into the Italian publisher Blue Label Entertainment.
On November 28, 2007 MC2 France officially relaunched the Microïds brand, with all of the company's future productions to be released either under the MICROÏDS Montreal or MICROÏDS Paris brands. The headquarters of the company are in Montrouge, a suburb of Paris and they have a development studio in Montreal, Canada, hence the two brands. In December 2007 they opened an online store, powered by Metaboli; this was later improved and relaunched the following year.
Purchase by Anuman Interactive (2010–present)
On 23 November 2009 Anuman Interactive announced that they were acquiring the mark of and all the associated licences of Microïds. The Microïds deal between Anuman and MC2 was completed on 1 January 2010.
On 8 April 2010 Microïds announced their strategy for 2010; this includes the PC development of Dracula 4: The Shadow of the Dragon and Syberia 3 and the adaptation of the many Microïds game licences into episodic games for Apple's iPad and iPhone. In 2011 a new logo was unveiled for the company in addition to the new secondary brand of "Microïds Games For All" that is centred around the company's non-adventure games.
On 26 November 2012 it was announced that Elliot Grassiano, the original founder of Microïds, will oversee new game development as Vice President of the Microïds unit.
On 19 August 2013 it was announced that Anuman had purchased the licence to develop and publish games based upon the works of Agatha Christie; these will be released on the Microïds label.
Microïds is known for the development of adventure games, including Syberia, Post Mortem and Still Life. Other notable games that Microïds has produced include Far Gate and the Nicky Boum series of action games for the Commodore Amiga.
Through mergers and buyouts the parent company has acquired licences of many games from companies such as Index+, Wanadoo Edition and Cryo Interactive. Acquired game licences which they intend to build upon include Dracula: Resurrection and Egypt.
In 2007 Microïds announced that it was working on a number of games in collaboration with various development studios such as Elektrogames, Kheops Studio, Mzone Studio, TOTM Studio, GameCo Studios and White Birds Productions.
As of 2010, the company is developing and adapting games for PC, Mac, iPad and iPhone, as well as looking into games for Web browsers, Facebook, online gaming consoles (PSN, Xbox Live) and Web TV.
In 2008 Microïds announced they had entered into a publishing agreement with Encore (part of Navarre Corporation), where Encore would publish Microïds' entire catalogue in North America. This deal was extended in August where Legacy Interactive would distribute Microïds adventure video games as digital downloads in North America. A deal with cdv Software Entertainment to distribute games such as Still Life 2 in France was announced in April 2009.
In September 2009 the company announced a long-term distribution deal with Iceberg Interactive for the United Kingdom and the Benelux countries.
Since the creation of Microïds in 1984 the company has had a number of different logos. During the mid-1980s the company used a logo with white writing and a yellow shape to the left. From around 1986 until 1995 they used a logo showing a curvy stylised letter M, which may look like a simple drawing of a bird; initially this had a background depicting a 3D scene. Fellow French video game developer with links to Microïds, White Birds, also used similar simple drawings of birds as their logo. In the mid-1990s the company changed their logo slightly to contain the colours of the rainbow, but without a background.
This logo remained until the merger with MC2 France, when a red/grey logo was used. By the time of Still Life being released the company was using a logo containing a blocky stylised letter M and dot below it. In 2005 this had a smooth typeface and no dots above the letter i. By the relaunch of the brand in 2007 the previous design had a diaeresis placed above the letter i and a different typeface. After the Anuman buyout the logo shape was changed slightly and included a new typeface.
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