Annapurna Pictures, the holding company of video game publishing studio Annapurna Interactive, has resolved over $200 million in debt, according to a new report from Variety. In order to resolve the debt, those involved in this revolving credit facility will receive about 82 cents on the dollar.
The entertainment production company sought a line of credit in order to promote some of its films. However, several of Annapurna’s more niche releases, including the Academy Award-winning movie Vice, didn’t perform well, putting the company in deep water. Vice in particular as reported as losing at least $15 million.
Less than a month ago, The Hollywood Reporter reported per sources that Annapurna was seeking financing options. This reportedly included consulting a law firm to explore Chapter 11 bankruptcy options.
“Restructuring deals with financial institutions is not uncommon, yet the process is usually handled without a spotlight on it,” founder Megan Ellison shared in a staff memo after the THR report. “Fortunately/unfortunately, people like to write about me and my family.”
Speculators expected Larry Ellison, Megan’s father and the co-founder of technology super-corporation Oracle Corporation, to step in. (Larry is, simply put, a billionaire.) However, it appears that didn’t need to happen, per the reported deal. Amidst the decline of the company’s financial situation, two films were reported as scrapped. One of the reportedly-scrapped films, Hustlers, is now slated to release on September 13th.
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There were no reports regarding whether the debt would directly affect Annapurna Interactive. However, given the scope of some of the projects, there likely would have been some apprehension for the game division had the debt gone unresolved.
Annapurna Interactive’s demise would have been a hit on multiple fronts for independent game developers. For one, Annapurna Pictures’s entry into video games was a signal that “mainstream” entertainment fans are equally as interested in more intimate interactive experiences as they were AAA hits. But it also heralded a genuine, fresh interest in independently-developed games, and solidified indie developers as genuine contenders in the high-stakes video game industry.
Founded in 2011 by Megan Ellison, Annapurna Pictures is most known for its diverse slate of intimate, relatively-independent and highly-praised films. Its most notable movies are its Academy Award-winning films Her, Zero Dark Thirty, American Hustle, Vice, and Phantom Thread. Annapurna also notably produced If Beale Street Could Talk, which received high accolades from critics, and its most recent coming-of-age comedy Booksmart.
The company founded the subsidiary Annapurna Interactive, formally Annapurna Games, LLC, in late 2016 to curate, fund and publish games. The company similarly curates a line of independent game titles. Its most notable gaming titles include What Remains of Edith Finch, Donut County, and mobile drama Florence.
Most recently, Annapurna Interactive released Outer Wilds, a massive action-adventure game, and the live-action hybrid mysteryTelling Lies. Forthcoming games include the next episode of Kentucky Route Zero and the top-down puzzler 12 Minutes.