Back in February, we first reported that Vivendi were making a move against Ubisoft, lapping up their shares and slobbering all the while.
Though the battlefield had remained silent for a couple months. Today, Vivendi made another move. They now own a 17.7% stake in Ubisoft, and only intend for that stake to grow. They are looking to acquire board seats at Ubisoft, and are looking to foster “fruitful” cooperation. No matter how fruitful Vivendi want to be, their move is still unwanted, and Ubisoft prefers to retain their independence.
Vivendi won’t strike for at least another six months, though. Until then, they have no plans to make a bid or seek control. They previously tried to buy up Gameloft, a subsidiary of Ubisoft, but Ubisoft was able to say no to that. Vivendi’s ultimate, goal, however, is Ubisoft proper, and by the look of it, they aren’t going to settle till they have it.
It’s slow going, though. Prior to this, Vivendi only had about 15% stake in the company, but small bites will be all it takes. At that rate, they’ll eventually eat the entire Ubisoft pie.
Still, the hostile takeover, if it’s successful, won’t bode well for Ubisoft. I can only imagine that a lot of key talent in the publisher will jump ship and swim away to safety, and Vivendi will likely just be left with a bunch of successful IPs that it can milk until nobody in their right mind would be anything with the Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry name.
Again, none of that is going to happen tomorrow. Maybe six months from tomorrow, but not tomorrow. That at least gives Ubisoft ample time to prepare themselves for Vivendi.
Say what you will about Ubisoft, but them maintaining their independence is in our (as the gaming public) best interest.