Ubisoft may be the next big video game company to be acquired by another, even bigger, video game company, reports suggest.
With the likes of Activision Blizzard and Bethesda being acquired by Microsoft and Sony picking up various game studios of its own, it’s already hard to draw a line on which video game companies would never be acquired by others. It seems like, at this point, there’s no sacred cow. Everybody’s got a price, and Ubisoft definitely has just put on a nice price tag.
Reports have been swirling about recently that Ubisoft has been positioning itself for an acquisition. While nobody in Ubisoft would either confirm or deny these rumors, circumstantial evidence suggests that the French video game company itself is readying it up for a sale.
However, while other video game companies usually get gobbled up by even bigger companies, private investment firms outside of the industry are reportedly eyeing Ubisoft. According to a report by Bloomberg, these include the American investment firms KKR & Co., and Blackstone Inc. Whichever of them, or whatever other company does end up purchasing Ubisoft, they’re doing so with a huge discount. As reported by Kotaku, Ubisoft’s stock price currently stands at $41. Meanwhile, the same company had stocks at about $110 a share back in 2018. The family-run company still has 15% of its shares controlled by the Guillemot family, the same family who have been running the business since its inception in 1986.
However, some reports suggest that the company’s founders themselves are looking to exit the business as well. Yves Guillemot has been the CEO of the company since 2000, but there doesn’t seem to be an heir ready to take on the mantle. Charlie Guillemot, his son, left the company last year, leaving no Guillemot in line for the Ubisoft throne.
Ubisoft currently has a very lean lineup of upcoming games. Its most recent release was the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC: Dawn of Ragnarok. Down the pipeline, we have the already-hated Defiant, whose infamy led to Ubisoft distancing the Tom Clancy’s brand from it. A Rainbow Six mobile game is also in the works but with a blurry release timeline. Meanwhile, a DLC-turned-full-fledged game is expected to weather the tides as Ubisoft struggles to keep up with its production issues, while fans continue to await the return of titles like Ghost Recon and Far Cry, which might not see any new releases until 2024. A title that was meant to be released this year, The Settlers, got delayed indefinitely when the game’s closed beta test was received poorly by its players.
It’s no shock that Ubisoft’s stock price is falling, but it’s always sad to see a gaming giant fall from grace like this. Regardless of what you think about their current products, it’s undeniable that Ubisoft helped pave the way to what we have in gaming today. The company has left an indelible mark with its open-world game design that has become the template for many games that came and are to come, for better or for worse. We just hope that if the rumors were true, whoever acquires Ubisoft would be able to introduce much-needed changes to the company to rejuvenate it. If it were to remain independent, then we hope that Ubisoft’s current problems would allow the company to grow stronger and develop better games for the future.