Broderbund is understood to be up for sale with front-runner Hasbro Interactive looking to pick up the operation to strengthen its software portfolio.
Hasbro Interactive's success in software is based on family orientated titles such as Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit.
The company acquired 75 Atari games from the Atari division of JTS Corporation for $5 million in March (PC Dealer, 25 March). Hasbro estimated that its interactive sales for 1997 will be $75 million, although this forecast is expected to rise to $100 million for 1998.
Broderbund has been struggling to maintain its position in the market, a situation compounded by the failure of its $9.3 million acquisition of Living Books in January last year to generate expected revenue.
The developer also cut its workforce by nearly seven per cent at the end of March as part of a cost cutting exercise, which was aimed at reducing overall operating costs by at least $5 million.
Jeremy Davies, analyst at Context, commented: 'It costs a lot to develop next-generation games and the competition is fierce. As well as that, there is a shortage of talent. The whole industry is rationalising and consolidating - everyone wants to be a top five player. If Broderbund is looking for a white knight to help out, Hasbro makes sense. It is in a similar area of the market.'
Arch rival The Learning Company, which is known to be on the acquisition trail, is also rumoured to be interested in buying Broderbund. Pilar Cloud, European managing director of Broderbund, declined to comment. Hasbro was unavailable for comment.
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