FOR EIDOS DIRECTOR
Copyright 2003 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ July 23rd 2003 ]
man who launched Tomb Raider cyberbabe Lara Croft's
high-flying career is poised for a multi-million
pound double take. Jeremy Heath-Smith is leaving
computer games group Eidos with a 'golden goodbye'
and has sold his mansion on Ringinglow Road, less
than a month after it was put on the market at
a record asking price of £3.5 million.
is subject to contract and although estate agents
Saxton Mee wouldn't reveal the price, the high
level of interest and the speed of the sale suggests
the property - Castle Dyke House - has set a new
record for a Sheffield home. Castle Dyke House
has 11 bedrooms - five with en-suite bathrooms
- a large indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym
suite. Add a firing range and garage packed with
foreign exotica and the new owners could have
something that rivals Lady Croft's palatial family
and his partner are believed to be heading off
for London. He had, and may still have, a home
in prestigious Eaton Mews, Belgravia, where a
two bedroom cottage costs close to £1 million.
However, the seven year relationship with Lara,
who he nurtured from birth at the Derby-based
studio he acquired from former employers, Sheffield
computer games pioneers Gremlin, is over.
in launching Angel of Darkness, the sixth and
latest Tomb Raider game, led Eidos to issue a
profits warning and are believed to have cost
Mr Heath-Smith his job as the company's Global
Head of Development. That job netted him around
half a million pounds over the last 12 months,
making him Eidos's highest paid director. Talks
over Mr Heath-Smith's severance package are still
proceeding at Eidos, which lost £30 million over
the last 15 months and saw its shares fall by
14 per cent after news of his impending departure
in the share price will have an impact on Mr Heath-Smith.
He was the Eidos director with the most shares
after creative director and former chairman Ian
Livingstone and holds a million Eidos shares and
had options to buy a further 230,463. Mr Heath-Smith
also had rights to royalties from the Tomb Raider
games. He started out in the computer games industry
as sales manager for Sheffield pioneers Gremlin.
He left in the late 1980s when he bought Gremlin's
Derby development studio and launched Core Design.
Raider was first created at Core after it had
been acquired by CentreGold, the parent group
of computer games publisher US Gold and distributor
CentreSoft. Jeremy Heath-Smith became a director
of CentreSoft and US Gold's managing director,
while continuing to run Core as an autonomous
subsidiary, an arrangement which continued after
Eidos acquired CentreSoft just a few months before
the launch of the first Tomb Raider game.