Eidos beaten in the computer games battle

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The Independent Online

Eidos, the computer games company behind the hit "Tomb Raider" series, yesterday warned it had seen a difficult six months of trading after two key games sold less copies over the key Christmas period than expected.

Eidos, the computer games company behind the hit "Tomb Raider" series, yesterday warned it had seen a difficult six months of trading after two key games sold less copies over the key Christmas period than expected.

Shares in the company plunged 9 per cent to close at 141p after it signalled that profits for the six months to 31 December would be well ahead of the previous year's £5.4m profit but below "some" market expectations of £9m.

Mike McGarvey, the chief executive, insisted that the trading update did not constitute a profit warning since the company would still meet expectations for the full year, which are for profits of about £17m. He said Eidos's performance in the first half of the year had also been affected by weaker US hardware sales and the impact of the weaker US dollar.

Sales of the games "Commados 3: Destination Berlin" and "Legacy of Kain: Defiance" - launched last autumn - did not achieve "expected levels", it said. Sales of other key titles, including "Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This at Home", were broadly in line with forecasts.

Among the games it is planning to release in the second half are "Thief: Deadly Shadows", and the sequel to its "Hitman" franchise.

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