What Twitch is doing feels like the opposite of charity.
Update: Vivendi isn’t one to take anything lying down. After Ubisoft stood firmly and proudly proclaimed they would remain independent after Vivendi purchased 6% of Ubisoft stock last week, Vivendi doubled down. Vivendi now owns 10.39% of Ubisoft stock and 10.2% of mobile game developer Gameloft as well. Vivendi also had a comment in response to Ubisoft and to their intentions:
“The Group reserves the right to increase its stake in these two companies depending on market conditions and the possibility, in due time, to be represented on their board.”
Vivendi doesn’t play around.
Original Story: Just last week Vivendi, a name that may sound familiar, bought about $160 million worth of Ubisoft stock and about $5.6 million of Gameloft stock which is a 6.6% and 6.2% stake respectively. Vivendi had little to say about this sudden and heavy investment in either game developer, especially since Gameloft isn’t as healthy and robust as it used to be. Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot however has plenty to say about it. Guillemot calls the purchase “unsolicited and unwelcome” and goes on to say:
“Our intention is and has always been to remain independent…We’re going to fight to preserve our independence. We should not let this situation – nor any future actions by Vivendi or others – distract us from our goals.”
Them there is fighting words.
Vivendi is not new to the video games business. Back in 2008 Activision and Vivendi Games merged with Vivendi keeping overall stock control, and thus control of the company. It wasn’t until 2013 when Bobby Kotick rode in on his white horse and bought out Vivendi and made Activision/Blizzard independent again. Somehow Vivendi is big enough and sneaky enough to make Bobby Kotick seem like a nice guy, think about that one for awhile.
It wouldn’t be too shocking for a company like Vivendi to want to snag up Ubisoft. Ubisoft has become a major publisher and developer in the last ten years and raked in just over $1 billion euros in 2013. Perhaps Vivendi thinks they can cash in on the video game business once again.