Destineer acquires MacSoft

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MacSoft is back in the hands of the man that started the once-dominant Mac game publisher almost a decade ago. International video and computer game publisher Infogrames Inc. today announced that it has sold its Mac game business, MacSoft, to Destineer Inc. Destineer is the game developer and publisher founded by Peter Tamte, MacSoft's original founder.

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Destineer already has a track record in the Mac market as the parent company of Bold, a label that has produced Mac conversions of popular Microsoft Windows titles including Age of Empires II, Links Championship Edition, and forthcoming games like Dungeon Siege and Halo.

The deal has been hinted at and speculated upon for several weeks, since Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Calif., where MacSoft and Bold shared booth space. MacSoft showed off forthcoming titles like Unreal Tournament 2003, Neverwinter Nights and Master of Orion III, while Bold showed off Dungeon Siege.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Infogrames revealed that Destineer has secured all rights to the MacSoft brand. Destineer also gets all MacSoft-branded existing products and products in development -- including games like Master of Orion III and Neverwinter Nights. Destineer has also acquire first rights to publish Mac versions of future Infogrames products. All in all, Destineer expects to publish at least 10 A-list mac games under the MacSoft label this year, including half a dozen that haven't yet been announced publicly. (Please note that despite its display at Macworld Expo, Unreal Tournament 2003's Mac release hasn't yet been announced publicly.)

MacCentral spoke with Destineer's Tamte about the new deal. "I've followed the Mac industry for a very long time, and I've just made a huge dollar commitment in investing in the Mac business right now. I'm excited about what Apple is doing, and what it means for gamers," he said.

With MacSoft now under the aegis of a company and a leader who understands the Mac market so intimately, MacCentral sought answers from Tamte about what he perceives this news as meaning for the Mac game market in general.

"MacSoft is looked at as the bellwether for the Macintosh game market," Tamte told MacCentral. "I hope that when both industry veterans and consumers see a whole bunch of new MacSoft game boxes on store shelves in 2003, they'll recognize that the Mac market is swelling with opportunity."

For the short term, Destineer will be consolidating its Mac assets under the more well-known MacSoft brand -- the company plans to publish Dungeon Siege and Halo as MacSoft titles, and Tamte confirmed with MacCentral that future printings of existing Bold games will carry the MacSoft name brand, as well.

This story, "Destineer acquires MacSoft" was originally published by PCWorld.

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