With a workforce of over 20,000 people, Ubisoft is reportedly looking to be bought out. The company has come under fire in the past few years after a nasty sexual misconduct case was opened against them. The case suggests that Ubisoft’s male management team sexually harassed female workers. However, the ongoing workplace controversy is only one of many issues taking place at Ubisoft at the moment.
The company has also suffered from major productions issues across many of its titles over the last few years. While most of these issues were brought on by the covid-19 pandemic, forcing Ubisoft to delay and even cancel games, the company’s new free-to-play and live service approach has also caused some nasty backlash around the world.
With all this in mind, reports claim that Ubisoft is currently looking to sell. According to Kotaku, talks have begun at a handful of firms including Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co. These are two of the biggest private firms in the world. The two firms have reportedly been studying Ubisoft and have an interest in taking over the company’s workforce. However, the report claims that no serious negotiations have kicked off yet.
Ubisoft has been working with several firms over the past few years in order to audit various parts of its business. Reports suggest that Ubisoft has done this in order to clean up its books for a potential sale. It also doesn’t help that Ubisoft’s stock has been slashed over the past few years. At its prime back in 2018, Ubisoft’s stock sat at over $110 per share. The company’s stock is currently sitting at $41.
A possible Ubisoft buyout would also cost a firm a lot of money. The firm would also have to buy out Ubisoft’s current CEO Yves Guillemot. The CEO owns 15% of Ubisoft which is roughly estimated at $5 billion. However, while Yves Guillemot rejected an offer back in 2018 by Vivendi, reports claim that he is actually looking at a possible exit strategy now.
Ubisoft is also suffering from a wave of attrition across its biggest game IPs. Most of the company’s senior talent has since departed leaving projects in limbo. This has forced Ubisoft to delay games as well as come up with alternative ways to bring in revenue. One of which is releasing multiple free-to-play and live service games. Ubisoft currently has close to ten live-service games in development. All of which aim to deliver long-lasting revenue streams for the company.
Ubisoft recently commented on the buyout news by releasing a statement:
We don’t comment on rumors or speculation. Ubisoft has unmatched creative and production capacities, with more than 20,000 talented people collaborating across our global studios on game development. Thanks to them and to our long-term approach and appetite for taking creative risks, we have built some of the industry’s strongest proprietary brands and have many promising new brands and projects on the horizon.
We also have one the industry’s deepest and most diversified portfolios, cutting-edge services and technologies, and a large and growing community of engaged players. As a result, we’re ideally positioned to capitalize on the rapid industry growth and platform opportunities that are emerging right now.
Only time will tell what ends up happening at the company.