Ubisoft might be the next big game company to get bought out. Several private equity firms are rumored to be looking at the French video game publisher, but no one has made public their interest yet. While Ubisoft has fought to retain its independence in the past, bad press and missed sales targets have affected the company’s valuation over the past few years.
Will Ubisoft be bought out?
According to Bloomberg, private equity firms Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co. are among those that have been eyeing Ubisoft for a takeover. However, this would likely be an amicable buyout, unlike what Vivendi attempted a few years back.
Ubisoft is one of the biggest third-party publishers left, but times are changing. Sony and Microsoft have realized that first-party exclusives are a significant factor in brand loyalty, and they’re pulling out all the stops to secure iconic IPs for their consoles. Microsoft is trying to acquire Activision Blizzard, and Sony will likely be looking for a purchase on that scale to bolster its stable of developers and IPs further. Perhaps investors are looking to take it over and make a quick profit by selling it to Microsoft or Sony.
Ubisoft is in a different place now than it was in 2018, and amidst scandal and underperforming games might have taken the fight out of co-founder and Chairman Yves Guillemot. Guillemot, who also owns a 15% stake in Ubisoft, might be ready to cash out after shares have fallen 41% in value. Bloomberg stated that Ubisoft responded to inquiries with the statement that “it’s built a strong portfolio and is ideally positioned to capitalize on emerging opportunities amid rapid growth in the industry.” However, it declined to comment on any takeover interest.