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May 5, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:36pm

ARCADE GAME MAKER VIRTUALITY FACES BUYOUT

By CBR Staff Writer

Crashed virtual reality high flyer Virtuality Plc of Leicester, UK could be back in the hands of its current chief technologist and founder Jon Waldern within a couple of weeks. Waldern is leading a Silicon Valley-based management buyout attempt from his new home in the US, citing support from three other top managers at Virtuality spread all over the globe, in the US, Japan and the UK. Administrators Arthur Andersons will have to decide whether the company is best put in the hands of the previous managing director, who personally holds some of the patents that drive the once successful UK public company, or if a third party can find better value from the massive 600 site virtual reality arcade customer base and its separate range of immersive virtual reality headsets. Customers for the arcade games that made Virtuality famous include Sega Enterprises Ltd, and highly interested onlookers may well be IBM Corp and Motorola Inc, once noted as prominent shareholders in Virtuality. At the time of going to press Computergram has been unable to ascertain if they still have an interest in the company. Waldern was speaking from the defunct Palo Alto US offices of Virtuality, where its web site declares for anyone to see that the Administrators are looking at buyers for the arcade business, but seem to want to trade the company back into health in the headset business. Waldern agrees with the sentiments saying that he would trade in the low priced, high volume end of the headset industry, tipped by many to be on the verge of a popular consumer-led explosion. The administrators at the Leicester, England headquarters won’t be drawn on when a decision will be made, but Waldern thinks they are likely to come to the end of their deliberations within a few weeks.

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