In a somewhat quiet announcement (which is my excuse for not noticing it allure) Capital Entertainment Group closed its doors in October seemingly due to lack of interest from VC’s to further fund the company (to the tune of $US20-30 million). CEG was started by Mark Hood, Kevin Bachus, Seamus Blackley and Gene Mauro with the express intent of making it easier for game developers to get funded by acting as the middle man between developers and publishers by providing funding/expertise and taking a cut from the game sales. Read more about that here. The 2003 holiday season was supposed to be the delivery date for the first run of games from CEG. CEG supposedly had a deal in place with Sega for its first two games. Guess we won’t be seeing anything now. Dean Takahashi (San Jose Mercury News & author of “Opening the XBox”) seemed to be the only person who noticed CEG’s demise in this article.
“We came to the conclusion we weren’t going to close our round,” said Eugene Mauro, chief executive officer of CEG. “Our idea for a new kind of business model was good. But the timing was off for us.”
Kevin Bachus was equally obstinate.”There’s no question in my mind that this business model will appear in the games industry in the next three years. The demand is there. The challenge is finding investors who share the appetite for risk.”
Seamus Blackley continues to amaze me with his ability to come out of mediocre situations with interesting jobs. (I think he did an excellent job with XBox BTW, even though it’s a huge money hole for Microsoft). With the announcement of CEG’s shutdown was a nearly unnoticed announcement by one of Hollywood’s most powerful talent brokers, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) that they had hired Seamus as a talent agent where he’ll be scoping out new hires – (either titles or talent was unclear).
Wired also has an article about this in “Games, Movies Tie the Knot“. Gamespot has run an interview with Seamus that you can find here. It turns out that both Seamus and Kevin were at the Spike TV Video Game Awards.