Ubisoft posted record digital sales in its earning report to investors today. While Ubisoft also announced new titles like Far Cry 5, a new Assassin's Creed, and an unannounced Nintendo Switch game, the company still has the looming specter of a hostile takeover from European conglomerate, Vivendi. While USgamer breaks down Ubisoft's fiscal year, a financial analyst recently wrote about the potential takeover.
Amid the financial earnings call is a larger story of Ubisoft's widely reported battle with European media company Vivendi, which last year expressed a desire to takeover the company. In December, Vivendi purchased 25 percent of Ubisoft stock, inching it steps closer to its goal of taking over the French video game studio.
In April, Reuters reported on an inside source claiming Vivendi will accelerate its takeover of Ubisoft and a separate advertising firm, Havas. "Vivendi is moving to the second phase, everything will take place this year," said the Reuters source.
Yesterday, a day before Ubisoft's financial earnings call, financial analyst Viacheslav Makarenko posted a blog about his take on the Ubisoft, Vivendi situation. On the finance platform SeekingAlpha Makarenko wrote,
"If we look at the history, we will find out that shares of the companies that were part of a hostile takeover have a tendency to quickly appreciate in value and make great returns for investors in a short period of time. This is what's happening with Ubisoft right now[.]"
In a press release, Ubisoft announced that the company has met plenty of its fiscal goals, with record-high sales in digital and back catalogue sales. Ubisoft's year is reflected in its stock prices which is currently at a high.
Ubisoft plans on bolstering the coming year with the release of some of their biggest franchises-which have been rumored for months-and pushing back other items like the next South Park video game, and an undisclosed IP which will take advantage of robust online features. Online features in particular appear to be an industry trend with EA and BioWare's new IP also taking advantage of new online features.
As of now, Ubisoft's "live" games like Ghost Recon Wild Lands, Rainbow Six Seige, and The Division represent a strong block in Ubisoft's online titles. CEO Yves Guillemot cites the 44 million registered Tom Clancy players, an increase of almost 150 percent in the past 18 months.
While Ubisoft is focusing on growing its digital revenue and financial earnings through AAA video game releases and recurring online transactions, some will be looking at Vivendi's aggressive approach towards the video game development company.