Empire Interactive

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Empire Interactive
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
Founded1987; 37 years ago (1987)
  • Ian Higgins
  • Simon Jeffrey
Defunct1 May 2009 (2009-05-01)
Area served
Key people
Ian Higgins (CEO; 1987–2008)
Number of employees
55 (2009)
ParentSilverstar Holdings (2006–2009)

Empire Interactive was a British video game developer and publisher based in London. Founded in 1987 by Ian Higgins and Simon Jeffrey, it was acquired by Silverstar Holdings in 2006 and went out of business in 2009.


Empire Interactive was founded by Ian Higgins (chief executive officer) and Simon Jeffrey (managing director) in 1987.[1][2] In November 2000, the company acquired development studio Razorworks.[3]

As well as full priced titles, Empire also had a budget range of titles, Xplosiv, for PC and PS2.[4] Initially launched for PC in January 2000, Xplosiv also published titles in Europe from third parties such as Sega and Microsoft.[5][6] Later, in 2003, Empire began launching titles for PS2.[7]

In March 2002 Empire acquired music creation software eJay.[4][8]

Silverstar Holdings, a U.S. public company listed on NASDAQ, offered a deal to acquire Empire Interactive in late October 2006.[9] The deal was accepted by 90% of Empire Interactive's shareholders by late November, and so Silverstar Holdings acquired 85% of Empire Interactive's shares. The deal was valued at approximately £4.5 million. Admissions of further Empire Interactive shares on the Alternative Investments Market of the London Stock Exchange, were expected to be cancelled, effective by 20 December.[1][10] Higgins stepped down from his position in May 2008.[2][11] In July, Empire Interactive reduced its staff count by 30%, with the intent to sell Razorworks.[12] Razorworks was sold to and absorbed by Rebellion Developments a few days later.[13] Two months after Silverstar Holdings was delisted from NASDAQ in March 2009, Empire Interactive was placed into administration on 1 May 2009, with KPMG Restructuring appointed as administrator. Subsequently, 49 out of 55 employees were laid off, with the remaining six staying to aiding KPMG Restructuring in the winding-down of the company. Empire Interactive's intellectual property was sold to U.S.-based company New World IP.[14][15] Shortly thereafter, U.S. publisher Zoo Publishing acquired an exclusive licence for the publishing and distribution of Empire Interactive from New World IP.[16][17]



  1. ^ a b Boyes, Emma (22 November 2006). "Empire Interactive accepts Silverstar takeover". GameSpot.
  2. ^ a b MCV Staff (1 May 2008). "Empire Interactive co-founder stands down". MCV.
  3. ^ Walker, Trey (21 November 2000). "Empire Interactive Acquires Razorworks". GameSpot.
  4. ^ a b Empire Interactive (24 January 2005). "Corporate". Empire Interactive. Archived from the original on 24 January 2005.
  5. ^ Empire Interactive (October 2000). "Empire signs exclusive budget deal with Sega Enterprises for its budget range, Xplosiv" (PDF). Empire Interactive. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2006.
  6. ^ "Empire Adds Momentous Value to Xplosiv Range" (PDF). Empire Interactive. 20 September 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2006. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Empire's Xplosiv business expands into PlayStation 2" (PDF). Empire Interactive. 2 May 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2004. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Empire Acquires eJay" (PDF). Empire Interactive. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 September 2006. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  9. ^ Boyes, Emma (30 October 2006). "Silverstar to acquire Empire". GameSpot.
  10. ^ Boyer, Brandon (4 December 2006). "Empire Accepts 90% Acquisition From Silverstar". Gamasutra.
  11. ^ Androvich, Mark (1 May 2008). "Empire CEO steps down". GamesIndustry.biz.
  12. ^ Jenkins, David (3 July 2008). "Empire Interactive Cuts Staff, Will Sell Studio". Gamasutra.
  13. ^ Elliott, Phil (19 July 2008). "Rebellion acquires Razorworks". GamesIndustry.biz.
  14. ^ MCV Staff (5 May 2009). "Confirmed: Empire goes into administration". MCV.
  15. ^ Martin, Matt (5 May 2009). "Empire IP rights sold as 49 staff made redundant". GamesIndustry.biz.
  16. ^ Graft, Kris (7 May 2009). "Zoo Publishing Picks Up Empire Slate". Gamasutra.
  17. ^ Nelson, Randy (7 May 2009). "Empire Interactive's catalog sold to Zoo". Engadget.