With Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard (to add to Zenimax Media and the many other studios and publishers that Microsoft owns), Take-Two buying Zynga, Embracer Group buying Gearbox Entertainment and Sony buying Bungie (with Sony CEO Jim Ryan telling expect more of the same), has been a time of consolidation in the video game industry. According to a report by BloombergUbisoft could be next.
“Several private equity firms, including Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co., are studying the French deal,” according to unnamed Bloomberg sources, who also said, “Ubisoft has not entered into any serious negotiations with potential buyers, and it is unclear whether its major shareholder is willing to seek a deal”.
The veracity of this report was confirmed by kotakuwhose sources among current and former Ubisoft developers stated that “the company will eventually sell to someone amid a plummeting stock price and ongoing production struggles”.
The publisher of Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry certainly has issues – according to a December Axios report, Ubisoft lay off employees at an alarming rate thanks to low wages, problems with her creative direction, better opportunities elsewhere, and widespread abuse in the workplace. Recently, a group of Ubisoft employees called the company’s leadership for not solving these problems. But being acquired by a private equity firm, which could lay off employees and push the French publisher even further into trend-seeking cynicism than its failed playing with NFTsIt wouldn’t be a big improvement.
Yesterday Ubisoft officially announced Project Q, a multiplayer shooter that is currently in early development. It then had to follow up the announcement on Twitter with responses explaining that, no, it’s it’s not a real battleand no, there are there are no plans to add NFTs.
In 2016, Ubisoft managed to prevent a hostile takeover of Vivendi, which ended sold the last of its shares in 2019.