Ubisoft Might Be the Next Big Publisher Targeted for Acquisition
A new report published by Bloomberg suggests that Ubisoft might be the next big publisher targeted for acquisition. According to Bloomberg's sources, several private equity firms such as Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co. have been studying the Ubisoft business. That said, Ubisoft hasn't entered yet into any negotiations and it's not even assured that the major shareholder, chairman and CEO Yves Guillemot's family, would be interested in selling. On the other hand, according to Kotaku, the company has recently tidied up its books with the help of external auditing companies. It could be a sign that Ubisoft is preparing to sell.
Buyers are certainly encouraged by the floundering stock price. While today Ubisoft shares are up 4.74% (likely on the heels of these rumors), the stock fell over 40% in the last year, leading to a market cap of €4.8 billion. Other potential suitors include Microsoft and Sony, even though the former is already busy enduring regulatory scrutiny on the massive acquisition deal for Activision Blizzard, while the latter is closing the deal to acquire Bungie. Both companies are likely far from over with their acquisition spree, though, and Ubisoft remains a prized target within the games industry.
Its release slate isn't exceedingly clear right now, but it does contain a huge number of in-development projects ranging from free to play games (The Division Heartland, XDefiant, Ghost Recon Frontline, Project Q) to mobile games (The Division Mobile, Rainbow Six Mobile, Assassin's Creed Mobile), VR games (Assassin's Creed VR, Splinter Cell VR) and, of course, many premium games (The Settlers, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Assassin's Creed Infinity, Skull and Bones, Beyond Good & Evil 2, Roller Champions, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, the untitled open world Star Wars game, and the Splinter Cell Remake).
That's not even the whole picture, as there are many unannounced but rumored game projects such as Assassin's Creed Rift, a sequel to Immortals: Fenyx Rising, a new 2.5D Prince of Persia game in development at Ubisoft Montpellier, and The Crew 3. On top of those, Ubisoft also keeps working on plenty of live service games like Rainbow Six: Siege, For Honor, The Division 2, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and Rainbow Six: Extraction.
Additionally, at GDC 2022 the company announced Ubisoft Scalar, a production tool that aims to leverage cloud computing power to further enhance the simulation capabilities of its game worlds. You can check out our interview with Technical Director Christian Holmqvist right here.
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