EA & Ubisoft

EA Invests in UbiSoft Entertainment (thanks Frans) has the unexpected announcement that Electronic Arts has acquired just under 20% of Ubisoft:
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 20, 2004--Electronic Arts today announced an investment in international game developer and publisher UbiSoft Entertainment, headquartered in Rennes, France. The investment represents approximately 19.9 percent interest in the company -- shares purchased as a block from Talpa Beheer B.V. to be completed upon obtaining antitrust clearance from the U.S. government. Financial terms were not disclosed.
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47.
 
Re: f.....
Dec 21, 2004, 02:47
47.
Re: f..... Dec 21, 2004, 02:47
Dec 21, 2004, 02:47
 
EA cancels christmas.

No, they only bought 20% of Christmas. Good news: the elves are already used to 'crunch time'. Bad news: the newly named EA: North Pole studios will be relocated to California.

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46.
 
Re: 20 percent
Dec 21, 2004, 01:22
46.
Re: 20 percent Dec 21, 2004, 01:22
Dec 21, 2004, 01:22
 
Really I think the move here would to be what EA normally does. If those stock percentages are correct it means EA has a pretty big chunk of the company. From there they can proceed to buy more stock whenever the opportunity presents itself and eventually absorb Ubisoft and make hordes of crappy sequels to their most mainstream titles. EA sort of runs by taking someone else's good IP and putting out hacked together material while relying on sales from the name. They did this to Origin, they did this to Maxis, they did this to Westwood, and there is no reason they won't do this to everything else they touch. The truth is EA is banking on gamers being stupid and so far it is paying off.

45.
 
Re: 20 percent
Dec 21, 2004, 01:08
45.
Re: 20 percent Dec 21, 2004, 01:08
Dec 21, 2004, 01:08
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't Microsoft be the Microsoft of the game industry?
Ha!
I figure you probably just said it 'cause it was funny (it was), but in this case, I think it's appropriate to say that Microsoft isn't the Microsoft of the game industry. Microsoft's business practices in the realm of video game software don't seem as predatory, lazy, and monopolizing (a word?) as their business practices in general, but EA's practices in Das Gamen Worlden are the precise embodiment of those qualities.

Avatar 13818
44.
 
Re: 20 percent
Dec 21, 2004, 00:56
44.
Re: 20 percent Dec 21, 2004, 00:56
Dec 21, 2004, 00:56
 
...they're the Microsoft of the game industry...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't Microsoft be the Microsoft of the game industry?

43.
 
No subject
Dec 20, 2004, 21:37
43.
No subject Dec 20, 2004, 21:37
Dec 20, 2004, 21:37
 
EA GAMES

BUY UP EVERYTHING!
"I like to play female characters in MMORPGs to trick men into homosexual chat." - space captain, June 18th, 2009.
42.
 
Re: Someone is not too happy . . .
Dec 20, 2004, 20:51
42.
Re: Someone is not too happy . . . Dec 20, 2004, 20:51
Dec 20, 2004, 20:51
 
As of this time 5:15PM PST, looks like the sites are starting to return to normal

You didn't take screen shots?

"You can either want something to be true, or you can want the truth. Pick one." - Mr. Diety
Avatar 17277
41.
 
Re: 20 percent
Dec 20, 2004, 20:46
41.
Re: 20 percent Dec 20, 2004, 20:46
Dec 20, 2004, 20:46
 
if there's going to be a monopoly on publishers, I'd really rather anyone other than EA :/

I oppose any sort of monopolization of the industry. We wouldn't even have much of an industry if it wasn't for mod teams and independent developers. Just take a look at a few that succeeded and truly advanced game development by staying true to their vision, or when compared to EA, even having a vision at all:

id (and Raven, etc)
Epic
Crytek
2015 (and Infinity Ward, etc)
Bioware
Ion Storm (for Thief, Deus Ex)
Valve
Akella
(Apologies to anyone that I didn't mention)

So what has EA done for the industry compared to them? EA won't even put out mod tools for their games!

EA is a sweatshop, they're the Microsoft of the game industry, putting out the same **** year after year, or putting out mediocre derivatives of original games. Yeah, it's good "business," but it's not good for anything else.

This comment was edited on Dec 20, 20:50.
40.
 
Someone is not too happy . . .
Dec 20, 2004, 20:12
40.
Someone is not too happy . . . Dec 20, 2004, 20:12
Dec 20, 2004, 20:12
 
It appears that the Redstorm/Ubi sites have been defaced:

On:
http://www.raven-shield.com
http://www.rainbowsix3.com
http://www.splintercell.com
http://www.ghostrecon.com
http://www.ghostrecon2.com


"This site is defaced!!!
NeverEverNoSanity WebWorm generation 16."

Though, assuming these are sourced off the same service block, it was probably not very widespread. Too bad for the Redstorm/Ubi guys. Though, maybe a coincidence?

** EDIT **
As of this time 5:15PM PST, looks like the sites are starting to return to normal

This comment was edited on Dec 20, 20:16.
39.
 
Re: hmmm
Dec 20, 2004, 19:33
39.
Re: hmmm Dec 20, 2004, 19:33
Dec 20, 2004, 19:33
 
Maybe they saw that corny "This time it's personal" trailer for Rainbow Six 4 and thought it was ridiculous enough to be subtitled Rainbow Six 4: Underground and get Team Rainbow to ride around in a turquoise Hummer with gold trim and spinners.

Avatar 13818
38.
 
hmmm
Dec 20, 2004, 19:17
38.
hmmm Dec 20, 2004, 19:17
Dec 20, 2004, 19:17
 
I suppose it all comes down to how much potential money they could make (collecting cash from Ubi's possible success) versus how much they are willing to lose/spend (by blocking things that would be good for Ubi, successful franchises and so on) to bury the competition.

Sounds like a plot for a ch 5 afternoon movie but after all the news about their practises as an employer lately I wouldnt put it past them....

Wheres my 100% ray proof tin foil hat

37.
 
I'll be Mr. Pessimist
Dec 20, 2004, 18:45
37.
I'll be Mr. Pessimist Dec 20, 2004, 18:45
Dec 20, 2004, 18:45
 
Seeing as this is the same wannabe monopoly company that bought the exclusive rights to the NFL so they wouldn't have any competition, does anyone else suspect they did this to sabotage Ubisoft? I.e. a big vote comes up, and they vote in the opposite of what's best for the company. This does give them a direct say in the operations and actions of a direct competitor, and I have no reason to think EA would act in Ubisoft's best interests over its own.

This comment was edited on Dec 20, 18:46.
36.
 
Re: 20 percent
Dec 20, 2004, 18:00
DG
36.
Re: 20 percent Dec 20, 2004, 18:00
Dec 20, 2004, 18:00
DG
 
if there's going to be a monopoly on publishers, I'd really rather anyone other than EA :/

IMO consolidation of publishers is going to encourage alternative distribution methods - like Steam - and alternative revenue sources - like game advertising.

Avatar 14793
35.
 
20 percent
Dec 20, 2004, 17:17
35.
20 percent Dec 20, 2004, 17:17
Dec 20, 2004, 17:17
 
"Erm.. it's only 20%. No signs of a hostile takeover"

That 20% makes them the single largest stockholder in the company, maybe not a hostile takeover but it must give them quite a lot of sway over Ubi's future direction and titles.

Buggeration, EA = Evil Arseholes

Evil Arsehole games:
Challenge everything

34.
 
Re: Interesting followup...
Dec 20, 2004, 17:08
34.
Re: Interesting followup... Dec 20, 2004, 17:08
Dec 20, 2004, 17:08
 
I stand corrected about my hostile comment. For now, you may start the doom and gloom.

33.
 
Re: f.....
Dec 20, 2004, 16:19
33.
Re: f..... Dec 20, 2004, 16:19
Dec 20, 2004, 16:19
 
lol. fly your plane into a body shop hangar to upgrade its paint scheme, nitrous oxide for your engine, new rims on the tires.

Adventures of a video game mercenary
http://virtualmerc.blogspot.com
32.
 
Re: Interesting followup...
Dec 20, 2004, 15:59
32.
Re: Interesting followup... Dec 20, 2004, 15:59
Dec 20, 2004, 15:59
 
Here's a better source for the apparent "hostile" move by EA...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4112605.stm

Games giant EA buys Ubisoft stake
Shares in French game maker Ubisoft were up 24% after the world's leading video game publisher, Electronic Arts, said it was buying 19.9% of the firm.
However Ubisoft said it would consider EA's stake-building as "hostile", until it received further details.

EA is buying a block of Ubisoft shares from Talpa Beheer BV, the investment vehicle of Dutch tycoon John de Mol.

Experts have valued the deal at between $85m (£43.6m) and $100m, making it one of EA's largest acquisitions.

EA said the stake did not allow it to exercise any control over Ubisoft, Europe's third-biggest independent video game publisher and the maker of recent hit game Prince of Persia: Warrior Within.

'Securing studios'

"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.

"Pending further information, we consider this operation as hostile," an Ubisoft spokesman told Reuters agency.

"We think this operation is aimed at securing the studios of Ubisoft that are ready to face the next generation of gaming consoles," he added.

American Football deal

The transaction needs to get US anti-trust clearance before it can be completed.

Ubisoft has a portfolio of more than 1,000 games titles and development studios in Canada, China, France and Texas.

It has enjoyed success with the Tom Clancy brand, with global hits such as Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon.

Ubisoft's most recent release in the UK, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, is riding high in the games charts.

EA's titles include sports games include NFL Street.

Last week, it signed exclusive agreements with the National Football League and the NFL players' union.

It has a market capitalisation of $18bn, sales of $2.9bn and $2.5bn cash. Ubisoft has a market capitalisation of 300m euros ($402m).



31.
 
Re: f.....
Dec 20, 2004, 15:54
31.
Re: f..... Dec 20, 2004, 15:54
Dec 20, 2004, 15:54
 
In other news:
EA cancels christmas.

30.
 
Interesting followup...
Dec 20, 2004, 15:42
30.
Interesting followup... Dec 20, 2004, 15:42
Dec 20, 2004, 15:42
 
Ubisoft Entertainment announced today it would consider Electronic Arts' stake building as "hostile", until it received further details from the company.

"Pending further information, we consider this operation as hostile," an Ubisoft spokesman told Reuters. "We think this operation is aimed at securing the studios of Ubisoft that are ready to face the next generation of gaming consoles," he added.

Electronic Arts announced earlier today it has bought a 19.9 percent stake in Ubisoft. EA purchased the shares as a block from Talpa Beheer B.V.


http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/7383/Ubisoft-Says-Electronic-Arts-Stake-Building-is-Hostile/

29.
 
No subject
Dec 20, 2004, 15:42
29.
No subject Dec 20, 2004, 15:42
Dec 20, 2004, 15:42
 
Erm.. it's only 20%. No signs of a hostile takeover, hell most of Ubi's former employees are at EA anyway.

Wait a little bit before you panic and yell doomsday.

28.
 
REDWOOD CITY
Dec 20, 2004, 15:16
28.
REDWOOD CITY Dec 20, 2004, 15:16
Dec 20, 2004, 15:16
 
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 20, 2004--Electronic Arts today announced a strategic alliance with IBM and ATI to produce the world's most feature packed entertainment solution: The EATriangle. Asside for tripple cored powerPC arcitecture, and graphics by ATI, the console will only play officially licensed Electronic Arts Games.

On a more sober note: purchasing Maxis was a very smart move for EA...

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