Ubisoft has been fighting off a hostile takeover attempt from French media conglomerate, Vivendi, for quite some time now, and the threat is far from over. Earlier this year alone, the company deployed a series of measures (including nominating independent directors) in an attempt to remain independent but there’s still uncertainty about Vivendi’s next move. In a new interview with GameSpot, co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot has explained what a hostile takeover could mean for the company, and understandably, it’s not exactly a pretty picture.
If you’re part of a conglomerate that doesn’t understand what your industry is, how fast it’s moving, or the decisions you have to make at speed, they can limit your possibilities. Then, automatically, you don’t create new experiences that are coming out of nowhere. Sometimes when you take risks, it doesn’t work and you have to cancel a project because you thought the business was going in one direction, but it didn’t. When the management allows that, you aren’t blamed for not succeeding, your management says, “Ok, we learned this and that, and we can use that on this new opportunity.” When you’re in an organisation that’s less risk-taking, you don’t do that. And then when you don’t take risks, you don’t get rewards.
Less risk taking, Guillemot explains, means shafting a lot of things to remain safe. Staying independent means “going for VR when everyone says you shouldn’t.” he continues. “It’s supporting the Wii when the whole industry says not to.”
From the interview, it seems that Guillemot himself isn’t sure whether Vivendi will end up succeeding or not. However, he has confirmed that he’ll step down as CEO if the takeover does happen because Vivendi is apparently all about making decisions at the top and having people execute them.
Elsewhere in the interview, Guillemot hinted that it might be a good few years before we see another Assassin’s Creed game. Ubisoft wants to “revolutionize” the IP and that means “it will be back when it’s ready.” He also revealed that Michel Ancel is working on an unannounced game with Ubisoft alongside WiLD.