Vivendi isn’t a name that’s unfamiliar in the sphere of gaming. The French Mass Media company bought the controlling stake in Activision Blizzard back in 2007, and essentially controlled the publisher up until 2012. It was then that Vivendi sold their controlling stake and retained just 12%, effectively keeping them out of the videogame industry. Last week that changed for the first time in three years, and Ubisoft is feeling a little threatened.
Vivendi, in a surprise move, purchased 6% of shares in both Ubisoft and mobile developer Gameloft, and it’s the president of the former that has taken a bit of issue with it. In an internal email obtained by GamesIndustry.biz, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot expressed his distress at the acquisition and vowed to fight for Ubisoft’s independence if it ever came to it.
“Our intention is and has always been to remain independent, a value which, for 30 years, has allowed us to innovate, take risks, create beloved franchises for players around the world, and which has helped the company grow into the leader it is today.
We’re going to fight to preserve our independence. We should not let this situation – nor any future actions by Vivendi or others – distract us from our goals. Our best defence is to stay focused on what we have always done best – deliver the most original and memorable gaming experiences.”
Guillemot clarified his fear of Vivendi in another email, saying their potential takeover would put Ubisoft in the hands of “people who don’t understand our expertise and what it takes to succeed in this industry.”
It makes sense as to why Vivendi is suddenly interested in Ubisoft, what with the developer/publisher aiming to release not only a brand new IP in the form of For Honor, but also a reboot of sorts to the Ghost Recon franchise. Add to that the annual Assassin’s Creed titles, the upcoming Far Cry spinoff and The Division, and you’ve got an impressive looking portfolio that seems to scream profits.
But it’s apparent that Guillemot will try and prevent a takeover like this as much as he can. Even if at the end of the day there isn’t much he can do to prevent the sale of public shares.
Last Updated: October 22, 2015