Report: Ubisoft eyeing studios

CFO says that the company is looking to make a number of acquisitions, primarily of independent developers.

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Last week, France-based developer and publisher Ubisoft reported record earnings for the previous 12 months, to the tune of 680.3 million euros (approx $917.1 million). Now the second-largest independent games company in Europe is on the lookout to acquire some smaller fish, according to a report from Reuters.

The company's chief financial officer, Alain Martinez, told Reuters that the company was currently considering two to three acquisition opportunities, primarily development studios. Although he did not name the companies on the radar, he did mention that if the deals went through, they would set Ubisoft back in the range of 1 million to 20 million euros (approx $1.3 million to $26.9 million).

Ubisoft chairman Yves Guillemot said at a news conference, "The idea is to stay cash positive, but we remain on the lookout for acquisition opportunities."

Ubisoft was founded by five brothers of the Guillemot family in 1986 and has developed titles including Red Steel, Rayman Raving Rabbids, XIII, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas. The company acquired MC2-Microids in 2005, bought the Driver franchise from Atari in 2006, and acquired Sunflowers--the German publisher and developer best known for the Anno series--this April.

Discussion

64 comments
kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Ubisoft smell. They dont exactly throw out a load of first class titles

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

if i was an independent developer, i wouldn't mind being acquired by UBI.

watercandle
watercandle

You can't compare Ubisoft to EA, it's simple; EA just buys famous developers and screw them. Ubisoft usually make a contract with once-famous-now-mediocre or new developers and make them superb. ex)RSE, Crytek, Gearbox. As a result, Ubisoft>>>>>>>>>EA and Ubisoft won't be EA for a long time.

robfield
robfield

I dont want Ubi to become another EA

kuroinindato
kuroinindato

I guess it's good nes for Ubi. Plus that CEO dude of theirs announced a "promised" improvement in the next batch of games to come, ports included. Got the Wii since Eu release and still hesitating between a PS3 & 360 for the 1st move to HD. So, Driver: Parallel Lines and Red Steel 2 will be a good test to see if my fellow frenchmen can make it to the top of the "making money 3rd party devs a.k.a multinational corporate evil" while keeping quality in their titles. As for the debate over the yearly upgrades of the same old franchises (NFS, Splinter Cell, Madden & co.) it should be about time for our corporate friends to look into the HW & SW capabilities of the machines they now develop for and make use of the new tools brought by this gen systems. With the PS3 Store, Wiiconnect24 and the likes it should be enough to provide new tracks and cars; missions and weapons, even maps or player transfers and so on, every now and then on all 3. Also, that might require less time and effort then a complete game, freeing some manpower to start working on NEW content and hopefully, to bring their skills and experience to recently acquired studios on original projects. That said, let's keep fingers crossed for bright years of gaming to come. 2K7 Rocks! And there's yet more games on the way... Anyhow, i neither hate none of both companies as they do have some titles. But i more fancy Konami, Capcom and such and am waitin on Suda51's No More Heroes supposed to be for this summer/fall... Wii need a release date //sidenote: typin' with the wiimote while bein' half drunk is some funky trip ya'll should give it a try ;) Peace.

DeltoidRecon
DeltoidRecon

Ugh..PLEASE PLEASE UBI DON'T BE THE NEW EA!! DON'T MESS THE RAINBOW SERIES LIKE EA MESSED WITH BATTLEFIELD SERIES (after BF2 and Vietnam)!

Dshenlong
Dshenlong

I think both game studious have the talent to make great games, but when they have certain games that have no competition in their field (such as madden) theres no need in the company to do anything besides upgrade a couple gameplay features or graphics and throw out the same stuff

runstalker
runstalker

RE: RaiKageRyu Except the team that developed C&C3 were comprised of mostly Westwood veterans. -------------------------------- I know this dude. It kinda becomes irrelevant in the end when a person goes to another company. At that point, he's working for the new company. The project lead on StarCraft 2 is also ex-EA LA. Yeah, he's from Westwood too. But now he's Blizzard. One can only ride coat tails for so long, then you need to prove you can make a new game. C&C 3 was developed by EA LA, regardless of disclaimers.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

The company is sure to get more money from their upcoming titles so I think they will go on an acquiring spree.

desolation00
desolation00

Any publisher that publishes alot of work, be it EA, Ubisoft or any other, is gonna toss out some duds and games that never should have seen the dawn. They're also going to publish some gems if they have any shred of talent. Both EA and Ubi certainly have talent running around so any differences in their library's catalog tend to be the result of the general corporate atmosphere of the company. At times, EA has shown itself willing to publish alot of games at the expense of quality whereas Ubisoft has a much better reputation in that regard. Now if only both groups will show some more innovation I'd be very happy. I love Splinter Cell and the Sims, but after the 4th game in a franchise, try something new.

lamprey263
lamprey263

I hope they're eyeing Seeds Inc, 'cause I haven't heard about them since the announcement of their high profile staff from Capcom's former Clover Studios.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

RE: runstalker Except the team that developed C&C3 were comprised of mostly Westwood veterans.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

hmmm, I smell TimeSplitters 4... lol was the TimeSplitters series not one of the greatest PS2 games? I think it was... they need to put it onto the PS3/360

CrazyBrazilian
CrazyBrazilian

As long as you keep giving me games like , splinter cell , assassins creed and etc you can buy whoever you want ubi.

runstalker
runstalker

Enough with the EA comparisons. EA has never given me stuff like the Prince of Persias, Splinter Cells, Ghost Recon, Assassin's Creed. All of Ubisoft's best works are internally developed by their own studios, and these guys are bloody talented. On the other hand, even the EA dissing loses some impact when their studios (EA LA = C&C 3) are producing pretty great work. Stick to hating things that have produced 100% crap from day 1 -- you know, like Uwe Boll.

death_link
death_link

An awfully bad Ubi game? Far Cry Vengeance on Wii. So bad, it neeeds a hole new word to describe itself since suck is too limited. Far Cry Vengeance Brings the sucknage

death_link
death_link

Thing is that Ubisoft lost a lot of respect at the end of 2006, early 2007 with its hordes of ports. It was like sudendly they had a lot of cool games coming and -boom! Bring the suck!!! Tried to make a quick cash but it backfired a little because only their good games sell anyway... a lot.

newbpwnage
newbpwnage

more good news for a person like myself who holds a few shares of stock.

westsidejedi360
westsidejedi360

Please dont buy gearbox, they dont deserve to be part of an evile meniacle super corporation

somberfox
somberfox

Ubisoft can't become EA, because they develop good games in-house while EA doesn't.

somesthetic
somesthetic

ubisoft used to be cool man. what happened?

Enterprise-E
Enterprise-E

No problem here just don't absorb a whole lot because then you will be like another company that just buys devs who suck really bad.

dukerav
dukerav

Acquiring a few smaller up and coming talented companies here and there fine. Pulling an EA and buying out just about any company you do business with and or just happen to keep an eye on, not good.

danieljhughes
danieljhughes

Will Ubisoft develope a sequel to Red Steel (Wii)? I would be interested in the purchase of the new title.

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

red steel wasn't that bad(reviews) but wasn't as good as some thought it would be

VaMPsYKo
VaMPsYKo

Well, EA definitely has the possibility to eat up Ubisoft, but they didn't. The thing is, people are all freaking out because Ubisoft is going to become like EA, by being on the lookout for possible companies to acquire... What they forget is that sometimes, it's actually a way of promoting studios with innovative ideas.. which is a good thing, right?

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

If in any case EA should eat up Ubisoft for real, then whatever Ubisoft bought will become property of EA.

VaMPsYKo
VaMPsYKo

And what would be your point there, 'the_real_VIP'?

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

Well, EA bought 19.9% of Ubisoft's shares, which means EA owns 1/5 of Ubisoft.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Hey to everybody who is worried that Ubisoft will become the next EA. Let's calm down. Even though their own ideology of publishing "mass-market" games is similar to how EA does it, they are still very different in many other aspects. Though, I don't have an experience of working inside the company, but I'm sure that some of the developers there might be disappointed at having their own unique ideas being shot down by the Ubisoft's executives for not conforming to the mass-market sale potential. But that is all I'm going to have to say.

BigDaveyDogz
BigDaveyDogz

I agree with Takalth. If you have the money to bring in small companies with bright ideas so their games & ideas can be produced for the masses then why not?

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Though they make great games, this kinda worries me, because I don't like their own ideology of only approving of the new game ideas that they consider to be suitable for the "mass-market audience", & abruptly shooting down other ideas down that doesn't seem agreeable to them even though it still would make money for them. I like the approaches of the publishers such as Eidos, THQ, Vivendi, & sort of Microsoft (they, of course, knows which games will lose out financially after release) far, far better. I like Ubisoft for their games, but still I prefer the methods of the other said companies much more.

Takalth
Takalth

People are looking at this wrong. They're trying to acquire 2-3 studios and spend 1-20 million euros. You can hardly acquire Relic or Rockstar for 20 million. By these numbers, it looks like they're planning to pick up very small studios who are probably struggling to get enough of the limelight for people to even be aware of their games' existence. That means, rather than stifling innovation, they're probably going to enhance it by grabbing a company that's only a couple steps above a garage development team and give it the funding, manpower, and advertisement to get somewhere.

iliyun
iliyun

see. that's what i thought. a bunch people baggin on Ubisoft growing without backing there trash talk

iliyun
iliyun

What Ubisoft games have been horrible ??????????

Nxss-effa-sim
Nxss-effa-sim

It is a scary thought to have a company that is openly going on an acquisition raid. What does that tell you about their future business? Why don't they try creating their own original content in stead of focusing on the numbers. Hey maybe if they did that they might have a hit, who would have thought. And on a side note, the reason I do not like EA is because like some have mentioned earlier, they quickly put out recycled games and then sell them to the ignorant for a quick profit (casual gamers). I bet if they were still a private company things would be much different. But you have to give them some credit. Now they say they are working on new original properties like Army of Two, which explains why they gave up there license to the James Bond series before it expired. Maybe this will be a turn around for them. But you know things like Madden will never change, that is their cash cow. Besides, how much can you possibly change about football anyway.

JaMeS4418
JaMeS4418

corporate giants strike again

iliyun
iliyun

Question ::: What games has Ubisoft brought out that have been Horrible ?

Kenaue
Kenaue

They get those studios, even more bad games will come out. God, Ubisoft USED to be good.

Legendary_Ross
Legendary_Ross

evil corperate giant? LOL... Corporate giants pwn!

coolasj19
coolasj19

razu_gamer i really don't see why so many hate EA. I bet everyone has at least one lying around the house. nope i dont have any cause i know they will come out with another version of the game that has nothing different next year and want my money. especialy in football and sports games. they coan just update the rosters and keep everyone happy.