Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

The game Might & Magic: Heroes VII, developed by Limbic Entertainment.

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Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Galaad » Dec 1 2015, 21:07

I guess I could open the topic here as well.

On latest news

Slowly but surely, Vivendi is trying to get back into the video game industry. After selling back its stake into Activision Blizzard in 2013, the company is looking at another video game giant — Ubisoft. Here’s a quick recap.

Ubisoft is one of the biggest game developers and publishers in the world behind popular franchises, such as Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Tom Clancy games and more. Gameloft is a successful mobile developer that copies popular gaming licenses and port them over to iOS and Android.

On October 14, Vivendi announced that it had bought 6.6 percent and 6.2 percent of Ubisoft and Gameloft, respectively. But that was just the beginning. One week later, the company announced that it owned 10 percent of each company.

As of today, Vivendi owns 17.34 percent of Gameloft, representing 15.34 percent of voting rights. It also own 10.81 percent of Ubisoft. In many ways, Vivendi is acting like an activist investor, buying shares on the public market to gain board control.

In particular, Vivendi isn’t negotiating with other Ubisoft shareholders and members of the management team. And guess what — they’re angry!

The Guillemot brothers founded both companies and they still own a significant chunk of both. Yves Guillemot heads Ubisoft, while Michel Guillemot heads the other. They want to prevent a Vivendi acquisition.

For now, Vivendi and the Guillemot family are fighting using public statements. In short, Vivendi is saying that it doesn’t exclude acquiring a majority stake in both companies, and the Guillemot brothers are saying that they don’t want that.

As a temporary fix, the Guillemot brothers increased their stake into Gameloft. They now own 15.64 percent of Gameloft, representing 24.18 percent of voting rights. It makes it a bit harder for Vivendi to grab control of the board.

But increasing their share in Gameloft was easy as the company is only worth $520 million while Ubisoft is worth $3.1 billion. Eventually, it will be hard to stop Vivendi if it really wants to acquire Ubisoft.

As a reminder, Vivendi owns Universal Music Group, Canal+, Dailymotion and has a lot of cash due to recent operations. In particular, Vivendi recently sold SFR, a telecommunications company.
The Guillemot brothers are waiting for a white knight, a company with deep pockets that would work with Ubisoft’s and Gameloft’s management teams to acquire a significant stake in both companies and stop Vivendi. But it’s been a few months already, and there is no white knight in sight.


What does CH think about this?

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Pol » Dec 1 2015, 21:43

Not exactly a news. Afraid, they may only go by a DELL way - so to buy their company fully back to prevent that. They however are not like Mr.Dell, ..doubt they have money. :(

If Vivendi aquire Ubisoft things will get even worse (like on another level of worse), so, by all means, this is a bad news.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Kalah » Dec 1 2015, 22:51

If a new owner comes in, that could mean that the profitable sides of the production are continued while less profitable ventures are sold.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby cjlee » Dec 2 2015, 6:02

Ubisoft is already the pits. How can Vivendi make things worse? By turning HOMM into a brand of toilet paper?

Surely a change of ownership will shake up all the entrenched problems, such as the Ubisoft idiots who have run HOMM into the ground. At the very least a future HOMM VIII should be managed by people who make a serious effort to get rid of most bugs before selling the game.

And like Kalah said, it's good that HOMM may be spun off to another studio. I think a small, independent developer is much more likely to devote the necessary care and attention to our favourite game. When Ubisoft took over HOMM many fans believed that Ubisoft has deep pockets and can make a good game, but were proven totally wrong.

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Erwinner » Dec 2 2015, 9:31

Pol wrote:If Vivendi aquire Ubisoft things will get even worse (like on another level of worse), so, by all means, this is a bad news.


nonsense, if Vivendi take over it will either mean no more Heroes games from Team Erwin or no more Heroes games at all, both of which are far better prospects than the current one lol

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Panda Tar » Dec 2 2015, 13:26

Whomever buys a big share, if they have a keen eye for quality, they'll start pruning what's wrong. I'm not sure they'll try to fix, but simply to cut out. So, I sort of agree with Erwinner. All in all, I don't think there's a happy ending for MM franchise, unless it's sold to someone else who can cast True Resurrection with Expert Earth Spell on it.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby gourley4p » Dec 2 2015, 14:54

Erwinner wrote:if Vivendi take over it will either mean no more Heroes games from Team Erwin or no more Heroes games at all, both of which are far better prospects than the current one lol

Can't say I agree here. I am playing and enjoying the current game. I certainly don't think it is a masterpiece, but it is FAR better than no game in the series for me. It doesn't make you a bad person if you don't like the current game or the direction on the series, but please don't wish for it to die out simply because you dislike it. :)

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Alfalken » Dec 2 2015, 17:01

Can't say I agree here. I am playing and enjoying the current game. I certainly don't think it is a masterpiece, but it is FAR better than no game in the series for me.


Agreed. H7 is a decent effort, and definitely enjoyable. If only the developers can learn how to do bug fixes properly.. :tongue:

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Galaad » Dec 2 2015, 22:12

From my perspective, they stole a cherished game from our childhood and made another game out of it, using its name to sell and tarnishing it in the process. Give us back Heroes or stop doing Heroes altogether.

I know Vivendi are no angels, but I also think Ubi will NEVER give the franchise a Renaissance, H7 was their huge, missed opportunity.

Besides, what is this H7 release where you loose you skills and spells after patch 1.5, with no multiplayer working, a game which obviously didn't benefit a proper testing phase, etc, "crapware" seems pretty accurate.

Not even mentioning the general hypocrisy about working with the community, when the most basic requests and some requiring no more than one line of code didn't even make it, when the sole purpose of the betas was the pre-orders.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby mr.hackcrag » Dec 2 2015, 23:53

Pol wrote:
[b]A critic should be short, objective and to the point.


Good rule.

Here's a list of Vivendi games: http://www.ign.com/companies/vivendi-games

Not much there rings any bells, but I did like Mace Griffin. Though considering the way Ubisoft has handled the series, I would like it to be relinquished to anyone but them. For the love of griffin eternal, ANYONE. :canthear:

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby gourley4p » Dec 3 2015, 0:01

This escalated quickly. The only thing I was going to reply was that the way I am looking at it, in my scenario of production of MMH games continuing, some people are happy with the game; some people get to be happy. Under the scenario of the franchise dying, no one gets to be happy because there is no game at all.

Seems like maybe we just caught Pol on a bad moment. Forum hug?

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby cjlee » Dec 3 2015, 4:23

Most profit making corporations aren't going to sit on stuff they have no intention of using. If Vivendi wanted to cut out HOMM - and they publish so many games that I think this unlikely - they should seek to sell off whatever they think they cannot make money out of. Because HOMM is a TBS game that actually has advantages for us. HOMM isn't likely to compete with most Vivendi products, and Vivendi executives may not be confident of making money from it, so they will have no issue selling to whoever is willing to buy.

If no buyer steps forward that's the end of HOMM I guess. 10 years ago I would have been very sad.

After Ubisoft's mismanagement of the brand over most of the last decade, the fan base has been damaged. I'm not so sad anymore at the prospect of no HOMM ever again. Instead I can view this as part of growing up, when the hallmarks of my youth are being left behind. Transformers cartoons from Hasbro don't look anything like Michael Bay's movies, for instance. The craptastic movies really made me leave behind Transformers for good too - no more nostalgia anymore.

If no business people anywhere feel that they can make a profit by producing a good HOMM VIII that we all enjoy, then HOMM VIII will never appear. Heroes franchise will just die a natural death like Total Annihilation or so many other games.

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Galaad » Dec 3 2015, 8:08

cjlee wrote:HOMM isn't likely to compete with most Vivendi products, and Vivendi executives may not be confident of making money from it, so they will have no issue selling to whoever is willing to buy.


Mostly what I think as well, is why I don't see the eventuality of Vivendi buying so terrible, if they sell the rights (which is not so far-fetched scenario) to some people caring and competent, it might be the best thing happening to the series in years.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Kalah » Dec 3 2015, 8:38

The risk, though, is that instead of selling the rights, the franchise may be closed down altogether. That has happened to many a game series in the past. Ubisoft at least we know have a desire to keep it going. It's kind of like a "the devil you know beats the devil you don't" scenario.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Galaad » Dec 3 2015, 8:43

Sure, although I wouldn't mind seeing the series to end at this point. I love HoMM, is my favorite game, and is rather painful to me to see what it has become. May let it rest in peace, which is still a better scenario to me than continuing to witness its zombie state.

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Kalah » Dec 3 2015, 9:41

I know several people who agree with that, but it would of course mean the eventual end of CH as well.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Kalah » Dec 3 2015, 9:54

We had that discussion some years ago. The answer is no, we don't allow open debate on the moderating of the forums; if you have a complaint about such things, please send me a message and it will be discussed between the moderator staff.

Anyway, back on topic, folks. :)
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Galaad » Dec 3 2015, 10:18

Kalah wrote:I know several people who agree with that, but it would of course mean the eventual end of CH as well.


Why would the forum die if there is no further sequels? As long as the game is alive should be the forums. Heroes 3 and Heroes 5 are still kicking ass and for a long time to come, VCMI is still in development and the best has yet to come. Succession Wars mod will soon release v0.8, etc.

I don't think Ubi or anyone else ending the brand means the end of the community's interest for Heroes. :)

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Kalah » Dec 3 2015, 12:05

Galaad wrote:Why would the forum die if there is no further sequels? As long as the game is alive should be the forums


Indeed!

But.

The forum isn't "alive" anymore. Back in the days of H4, we had a very active forum and literally hundreds of active members, but the Communities have suffered decline after Ubisoft took over. H5 was all right as far ass activity was concerned, but the interim period really killed us. The H6 flop was a complete disaster which only made matters worse and we have gone from having +5000 visits each day on our site to a few hundred.

One thing that could be good news if a different developer takes over the franchise is that there may be a different approach to how this developer deals with the community. Ubisoft have really been apes to deal with in that regard.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Panda Tar » Dec 3 2015, 13:37

And whether one likes or not, those who admin the forums cannot simply be expected to endure timeless reminiscences over a franchise, should it end, for ever. Sooner or later, people move on.
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