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EA Games Makes Hostile Move Towards Rival Ubisoft

Published December 30, 2004 in GAMING INDUSTRY
By Ryan Parsons | Image from Ubisoft
Ubisoft has to be on the defense to EA Games surprise move this past holiday week.
Some pretty big news in the gaming world.. EA Games has recently made 'hostile' actions toward their competitor company, Ubisoft. Ubisoft is the creator of games for all consoles plus the PC. Some of these games include Splinter Cell, Brothers in Arms [out soon], Silent Hunter, Prince of Persia, and Rainbow Six. Actually, Ubisoft is responsible for pretty much every Tom Clancy game. This come is a hard hitter, but Electronic Arts seems to be playing even harder.

EA Games Purchases Ubisoft Stock

In what people have called an unexpected move by Electronic Arts, the company who surprisingly purchased almost 20% of Ubisoft shares this last week. This cost EA a whopping 85 to 100 million. With this amount, people are now trying to predict what EA is up to. Of all the predictions, they all point at the main theory that EA does want something from Ubisoft, besides a simple investment. Ubisoft is known for extremely talented game developers, which seems to be the number one target for EA Games. Another perk is that EA Games now owns a major share of their main competitor.

GameSpot Talks to Ubisoft CEO, Yves Guillemot

GameSpot, probably one of the best sources for gaming news, has recently interviewed the Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot about EA Games latest move. During the interview Guillemot tries to play down the fact that the two companies are 'arch rivals' by claiming that the gaming market is growing at such a rate that none of the developer companies [who compete for shelf space] are really rivals. But he does follow up this statement by claiming that EA Games purchase is considered a 'hostile' action.

Yves Guillemot was asked further questions about his future plans with Ubisoft, how EA Games purchase would affect Ubisoft, and his own personal thoughts on EA. Here is a snippet from the interview:

GameSpot: 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?

Yves: 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.

GameSpot: 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?

Yves: 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.

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

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

Gamespot: Do you see malevolence at its core?

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

Pretty interesting stuff. To check out the whole article, head over to GameSpot.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image from Ubisoft

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