Jump to content
Ghost Recon.net Forums

EA to buy 20% share in Ubisoft


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 112
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

By way of comparison the RSE engine may be as capable and have a rich suite of in-house development and porting tools, but as Ubi has never allowed RSE to deliver really rich mod tools for the games the RSE engine lacks the pool of development talent Unreal Warfare, Valve and id Software engines offer...

I disagree. RSE makes games, not middleware.

You are comparing stale, pre-packaged fare (middleware) to tasty home cookin'. RSE did not create a game engine as a loss leader like id, Unreal and Valve did.

Also, I know of only one modding tool that they have in-house that will never be released for legal reasons -- the universal R6/RS/UO-->GR map converter ! (damn them...)

Its true, theres no dedicated map editor -- only plugins for Max. However, 3D Max is the tool thats used by pros to build games anyways. Yes, it takes skill to create your own world from scratch rather than using a pre-created set up building blocks but thats how you get new content and why ppl like to mod for gr : emphasis on creativity and producing new content, not slapping together a set of lincoln logs you assemble to build a 'map'.

this being said .... i dont think there would be a complaint if RSE actually did ship a map editor ! :ph34r:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Loss leader *cough* id Software, Epic and Valve aren't the Developers (and neither are their Publishers: Activision, Sierra, Atari) declaring record breaking losses...

Neither are your remarks that marginalize the aforementioned engines to being loss leading platforms for middle-ware even remotely accurate... Each leads and will continue to surpass the RSE engine in many areas unique to each engine engine, and as far as sales *cough* loss *uncough*...

Similarly trivializing the games that ride on these engines that have as many (or more) man hours of labor and serious and well thought game design applied a valid arcation for an discussion/argument.

The RSE tools are paltry compared even when compared to small companies like Croteam, Starbreeze, CryTek that can ill afford marginal middle-ware rap.

<_<

Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/12/29/news_6115594.html

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot speaks his mind on the EA deal

With Electronic Arts the new owner of almost 20 percent of Ubisoft, you might expect that company's leader to wobble a bit in the unexpected limelight. Yves Guillemot does anything but.

Just five days before Christmas, with many game industry staffers already on vacation, Electronic Arts dropped an explosive bit of news on the wires. In a short press release, it acknowledged having purchased an estimated $85-$100 million worth of Ubisoft shares.

The move--a surprise to the vast majority of industry observers--gave it a 19.9 percent ownership position in one of its most daunting competitors. Wedbush Morgan senior analyst Michael Pachter told GameSpot, "I think EA is interested in Ubisoft's development talent and in its Gameloft investment [in wireless games]."

But is that all? "I don't know if EA wants to take them out," Pachter said, "but given that Ubi has a pretty strong set of licenses and great development--with a more Euro-centric sales profile--it's a combination that makes sense from EA's perspective."

Pachter clearly assesed the stock acquisition as something less benign than how EA had earlier portrayed it. "EA is not in the business of making passive investments in public companies," Pachter concluded.

Regardless of its motives, the builders of famous franchises that include Madden and Medal of Honor now own a block of Ubisoft shares second in size only to the chunk owned by the company's founders, one of whom is its CEO and president, Yves Guillemot.

We spoke to Guillemot shortly after the transaction was announced.

GameSpot: Yves, to most observers, EA and Ubisoft are arch rivals who compete for market share, mind share, shelf space, and talent. It's hard to believe the two parties can work toward common goals. Assuming all regulatory issues are cleared, your board of directors will have to acknowledge EA's wishes as they might other shareholder's. How do you expect this marriage to get on?

Yves Guillemot: Although EA and Ubisoft are both leading game publishers, I wouldn’t say we are arch rivals. All players in the industry compete for market share, shelf space, and talent, but as the past few months have shown, the market is growing, and the more outstanding titles that hit the shelves, the more the market grows. So getting great games out there is a common goal that all publishers share.

GS: So how do you read the move by Electronic Arts?

YG: I have stated on the record that I view this action on the part of EA as hostile.

GS: Do you see malevolence at its core?

YG: Until we have further information we cannot say what EA’s goals might be.

GS: How does having EA as a shareholder affect the issue of disclosure, specifically company strategy?

YG: In terms of the company’s confidential strategy, that information is not provided to any of our shareholders. This has always been our policy, and we have consistently shown ourselves worthy of the confidence of our shareholders.

GS: Are there remaining shares of the company that are vulnerable to acquisition by Electronic Arts, and if so, is Ubisoft management considering options if EA were to become a majority shareholder?

YG: Ubisoft is a publicly traded company, with 22.8 percent of its voting rights held by the company’s founders. Of the remaining capital publicly held, 13 percent of voting rights are in the hands of financial institutions and 44.5 percent are in the hands of small shareholders. The management is studying all its options under several different scenarios.

GS: Given this twist in the company's timeline, what does the future hold for Ubisoft?

YG: For the immediate future, we are still looking forward to a record-breaking fourth quarter, with the release of several titles which you [in the press] also seem to be eagerly anticipating.

GS: What about the long-term outlook?

YG: When looking at the longer-term, our only concern is the risk that we may not be allowed to fully realize our vocation of being creators of high quality games. Our goal is to create the best games available, and our teams are motivated and love what they do because they see that this is the key to their success. Our philosophy has been to change the terms of success in this industry, so that a successful game is one that is innovative and creative.

GS: Is that philosophy at risk?

YG: We hope that recent events will not affect Ubisoft’s capacity to be creative and that we'll continue to make outstanding games, or for that matter, that the industry as a whole will not find itself in a situation where the quality of games is no longer a factor of success.

GS: Your company's mission statement is supported by six core values, one is to "play fair." Do you feel that EA has played fair in this stock acquisition?

YG: Considering the industry practice of communicating informally about such decisions, we were disappointed, to say the very least, that EA chose not to inform us of their specific plans beforehand.

GS: Yves, Ubisoft was founded by you and four of your brothers back in 1986. Now, with a competitor owning the second largest block of voting shares, what do you say to those who say this could be the beginning of the end for Ubisoft?

YG: I would strongly disagree. A minority stake in the company--even if it is held by a competitor--remains just that, a minority stake. I think Ubisoft will continue to surprise those who are watching us, and time will tell what the future holds.

GS: Yves, thank you very much.

By Curt Feldman -- GameSpot

POSTED: 12/29/04 09:48 PM PST

Link to post
Share on other sites

http://uk.biz.yahoo.com/041230/323/f9e6u.html

Thursday December 30, 09:22 AM

Ubisoft may recive govt backing in defence against Electronic Arts

PARIS (AFX) - Ubi Soft Entertainment SA could receive government support in its fight against the threat of a takeover by US video games giant Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS - news) , La Tribune newspaper reported without naming its sources.

The government has been watchful for several months about the health of French video games studios, of which around 20 work for Ubisoft, the financial daily said.

The heads of the studios fear that a purchase of Ubisoft by EA would lead to the disappearance of the last decision making centre in France for the video games industry, La Tribune added.

Ubisoft said last night it is not in talks 'at present' with EA about the US company's recent purchase of a stake.

'In light of recent news spread by the press, Ubisofts board of directors reiterates that, in the absence of information from Electronic Arts regarding its intentions, the latter's acquisition of 19.9 pct of the groups capital is unsolicited and currently considered as hostile,' the company said.

'Moreover, it states that there are no negotiations between the two parties at present,' Ubisoft said.

Les Echos newspaper reported yesterday that Ubisoft will gather together some of its largest shareholders next week in a bid to convince them not to throw their weight behind EA.

EA bought its holding on Dec 20 from Talpa Beheer BV, the investment vehicle of Dutch financier John de Mol.

Les Echos said Ubisoft is considering several options to defend itself against its American rival, including increasing the holding of the Guillemot family, who, the newspaper said, have 17.5 pct of shares and 26.6 pct of voting rights.

France's other video games manufacturer, Infogrames Entertainment SA (Paris: FR0000052573 - news) , owner of the Atari (NASDAQ: ATAR - news) brand, is currently seeking approval for a financial restructuring.

An EGM on Dec 21 to vote on the debt refinancing plan was inquorate and has been postponed until Jan 19.

The company is proposing to buy back 117 mln eur in Oceane 2005 convertible bonds with a combination of cash and shares, in conjunction with a 1-for-2 warrant offer entitling shareholders to buy new stock at 1.11 eur per share.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that might be an improvement over it being like SOF II/Counter-Strike on screaming man steroids, which from every indication looks like where things are headed...

At the rate and direction Ubi is headed GR3 could well be subtitled: 'Gay Rambo: A Sensitive Inside Look Of An Aggressive Soldier Getting To Know His Sexuality' and then there will be the 'Barbie & Rambo Go Clothes Shopping Expansion: More Immersive Sensitivity In Getting To Know Rambo Better!'...

:(

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever you think about EA and UBI games, it just plain aint no good to haveone company dominate everything.

I'm not a fan of Peter Molyneux games but i do know that he got the hell out of Dodge sharpish when EA bought Bullfrog.

It's not that i think UBI is better than EA. It' just good to have as many different corporate approaches to making games as possible.

Plus, i feyoookin hate that childs voice 'loudly' whispering "Challenge everything" every time i start an EA game. I couldn't bear to hear that anytime i wannna play GR2.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever you think about some of EA's games, you've got to admit that it was a masterful business move on their part to snatch up 20% of a major competitor without them having the slightest clue. This move reminds me of that movie Wall Street with Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen.

Emerald Bowl Results

Navy - 34 New Mexico - 19

GO NAVY!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow i dident even know UBI had stock, how much per share? Anyway i dont really like big biz always eating up the smaler guys its not right. Anyway I am agenst this, now im not saying EA is bad they make some good games but why...why does everyone have to always get bigger and bigger and never stay stedy with what you got. Both companies seem to be doing good, They need to stop thinking about who is bigger but Who can make the better game; am I right?!?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats (simplified; imho) because if they don't there ain't much growing, when there's no growing market share doesn't go up, if market share doesn't go sales wont either,

then stockholders don't appreciate your company and sell.

If they sell the value drops. You don't want your Stock value dropping.

See e.g. Microsoft, already running at 98% market share, blitz every opening market

however possible, to be able to continue growing.

Imho one of the major reasons why the entertainment industry in general produces loads of twodimensional crap is coming from this situation and from the need to absolutely maximise Sales to hit the "bestselling game of the year" which apparently outweighs "best game of the year" for most of these companies.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent post Goettschwan and good points everyone should be thinking about, especially Ubi... :blink:

I think it's also a lot of short sighted business and profit interest that is shaping the 2D 'psych up the [idiots] to go to the zoo' crap we're starting to see more and more of... These companies want short product cycles and self-obsolescing products so that they can crank out the next one; sadly this is the Publishing business model that has very little interest in sustainability or long term sales.

Anyone that things entertainment must be simplistic, "B" grade, and able to appeal to the lowest common denominator in an audience to be "fun" obviously isn't entertained very much for very long...

:huh:

Link to post
Share on other sites

We need to be really worried if they try to gain over 50%. then we can really worry. But regulators must approve it.

Edited- if this deal does go through, the stock prices will be hot for Ubi & EA. But this doesn't always lead to better products or services :nono:

Edited by Papa6
Link to post
Share on other sites

what if EA buys all their franchises and the rights to UBI's major titles

then, takes over all their dev studios

...and promptly dumps all the projects and intellectual property in a big fat dumpster out in front of a particularly large skyscraper in Redwood city

would it be any different than what MS has done to companies like Watcom, FoxPro, heh Q-Dos, .the writing is on the wall.

if your a company big enough to take over your largest global competitor sharing the same market, then whats going on here is SOP really:

its called eliminating your competition. then, who cares about the crappy products you ship. the markets all yours now, by default. (200 yr old anti-trust laws aside.)

You know, I remember when EA had a cool logo and cool games. (But this was back in the 80's. If you want to see the good old days grab the AppleWin emulator and play Archon or Seven Cities of Gold or SkyFox or Ultima 3 !!.... now thats when EA was cool.)

what ... happened ... to EA ? Maybe Trip Hawkins' got bought out ... lol that was the beginning of the end

Link to post
Share on other sites

I presume 'hostile' means they covertly bought the shares from thousands of individual small time shareholders

I don't have any knowledge of stocks trading so can someone fill us in on how it works?

What do they do, contact the idividual shareholders and make them a generous offer?

Then once they have the 19% what happens? Who owns the rest of the shares? Is there some collection of major shareholders that considerthemself UBI and don't want to be owned by EA so they just refuse to sell???

Basically if the major shareholders refuse to sell then that's their defence from the hostile take over right there isn't it? Or is it more complicated than that.

So does anyone know who hows what percentage of the UBI shares?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The people who owned the 2nd largest amount of shares in UBI, sold (or are in the process of selling them) them all, approx. 19.90% of all shares I believe, EA is buying (or trying to) those from the seller. Only the founders of UBI will own more, approx 22% I think. It is considered hostile because EA's never discussed buying stake in UBI, and their intentions are unknown.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The people who owned the 2nd largest amount of shares in UBI, sold (or are in the process of selling them) them all, approx. 19.90% of all shares I believe, EA is buying (or trying to) those from the seller. Only the founders of UBI will own more, approx 22% I think.  It is considered hostile because EA's never discussed buying stake in UBI, and their intentions are unknown.

Actually the owner of UBI got 17% or 14% of the share but got 22% of the voting right...

Anyway, UBI is today talking to Vivendi and ask them to help them to get rid of EA, more news to come.

Edited by ManuNice
Link to post
Share on other sites

How is it that the founders canhave 14% of the share and EA 19.90% yet the founders get a higher voting right.

Also, does that mean that EA would be the biggest single sharehoder?

i reckon all the ubi staff should do a 'Bullfrog' when their bought out contracts are up and just leave the company and start another. That way EA will be left with a back catalogue and a bunch of empty chairs and desks.

Link to post
Share on other sites
How is it that the founders canhave 14% of the share and EA 19.90% yet the founders get a higher voting right.

Also, does that mean that EA would be the biggest single sharehoder?

Ok I got all the specific now:

Yves Guillemot and it's familly (founder of UBI) got 17,5% of the share BUT they sill got 26,5% of the voting right.

As for EA being the biggest shareholder, yes they are!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Whatever you think about EA and UBI games, it just plain aint no good to haveone company dominate everything.

  I'm not a fan of Peter Molyneux games but i do know that he got the hell out of Dodge sharpish when EA bought Bullfrog.

  It's not that i think UBI is better than EA. It' just good to have as many different corporate approaches to making games as possible.

  Plus, i feyoookin hate that childs voice 'loudly' whispering "Challenge everything" every time i start an EA game. I couldn't bear to hear that anytime i wannna play GR2.

Agreed on the 'Challenge everything.' :rofl:

Anyway, as for Peter Molyneux, (whom I am a big fan of) EA gave him a huge corporate job when they bought Bullfrog. However, after a while, wanting to go back to development, and possibly displeased with EA, (like all of it's employees) he created Lionhead (which is under and published by EA). That arrangement has gone well, but it's likely just because EA respects and values him enough not to mess with his games.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just spotted this on the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4112605.stm

Edited-

"We have no control over what Ubisoft's management chooses to do with the company," said EA spokesman Jeff Brown.

EA's stake would give it access to 18.4 % of the voting rights against 22.8 % held by Ubisoft's founders, the Guillemot family, Ubisoft said.

Now do you see what EA is up to? they are working to silently work it into a majority vote. Guess my ubi game buying days are numbered.

Edited by Papa6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Time will tell.

Will be interesting to watch what later merges and takeovers will result in.

I would assume it to be total domination of games market ready to unleash subliminals and propaganda style dead-head games to "get them when they are young" ... sometimes its worth checking out the CEO's and shareholders backgrounds and dealings to get the better picture.

:ph34r::ph34r:

Surely you all know its a conspiracy to corrupt our childs minds ... them pesky reptiles are at it again. :devil::ph34r:

Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...