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3DO files for bankruptcy

Troubled publisher 3DO came a step closer to bowing out of the game entirely today, with a filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Californian court, and is now hoping for a sale of the company to rescue it.

Troubled publisher 3DO came a step closer to bowing out of the game entirely today, with a filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Californian court, and is now hoping for a sale of the company to rescue it.

The company filed documents with the American Securities and Exchange Commission just before E3 which indicated that heavy layoffs were likely, following a major drop in sales in the first quarter of the year.

At that point it indicated that it was considering options including the sale of various assets (such as publishing rights to forthcoming games) or a merger for the company; filing for bankruptcy leaves those options open, but makes them rather more urgent if the company is to survive in any form.

"While we hope that this news will generate additional new opportunities," said CEO Trip Hawkins in a statement, "at this point we are focused on pursuing either the sale of the entire company or the sale of its assets."

There is however a serious question mark over 3DO's worth as an acquisition target. The company has few compelling franchises - its High Heat baseball series is probably the only game in the line-up which would attract a glimmer of interest from any major player - and games in development such as Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (how apt) are completely unproven at market, despite a good response from critics.

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.