In a move to become one of the top three North American producers of digital games, Hasbro has shelled out US$31.8 million to acquire a 91% stake in MicroProse Inc., an Alameda, California-based CD-ROM publishing company that will be folded into Hasbro’s already formidable software arm, Hasbro Interactive. The toy giant’s goal to crack the digital top three is well within reach-before the acquisition, Hasbro Interactive ranked number five on its own.
To help coordinate Hasbro’s stepped-up game plan in the digital market, Barry Jafrato, formerly international managing director, was promoted to senior VP, global business development, and Tim Christian, formerly managing director for MicroProse in Europe, has taken over Jafrato’s former position.
Jafrato and Christian will be working with four research and development studios inherited from MicroProse, each complete with its own twelve-person team. The facilities are located in North Carolina, Maryland, California and the U.K., respectively. In addition, MicroProse’s sophisticated knowledge of PC-based game categories like strategy, simulation and 3-D action will both strengthen existing Hasbro Interactive titles and broaden the division’s product scope.