Although we’re used to seeing relatively small video game companies being acquired by larger ones in the video game world, it seems that giant publisher Ubisoft could now be in the middle of a hostile takeover.
French media conglomerate Vivendi has increased its stake in Ubisoft to almost 18 %, and it looks like this share-buying process could continue in the future. And if Vivendi ends up taking control of Ubisoft then it would surely be one of the biggest takeovers involving a video game company seen to date, as Ubisoft is currently valued at close to $3 billion US dollars in the French stock market.
This would surely be in a different league to Shandong Hongda Mining’s buyout of English video game developer Jagex for $300 million US dollars, but not as big as Activision Blizzard’s acquisition of King.com for a whopping $5.9 billlion last year.
And it appears Ubisoft did not take Vivendi’s move kindly, stating that “this strategy of successively announcing conflicting intentions is contrary to good corporate practices and is not in the best interests of Ubisoft’s other shareholders”, according to gaming website GameSpot.
Also, if Vivendi (which is the former owner of Activision Blizzard) were to rule Ubisoft in the future, it remains to be seen how Ubisoft’s top franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs or the company’s massively popular online game The Division would be affected by the move. After all, it is clear that Ubisoft is one of the top video game companies in the business, and is now making inroads into the movie business with its Ubisoft Motion Pictures studio and its upcoming Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry movies.
So would a potential hostile takeover by Vivendi alter Ubisoft’s nature in a fundamental way? This remains to be seen, although perhaps it could be better for fans of Ubisoft’s games if the French company was able to retain its independence and kept putting out great video games in the future.
COPYRIGHT: Ubisoft Entertainment.