It feels like every single month there’s news of a new video game company acquisition. This year alone, we’ve seen Microsoft absorb Activision Blizzard, Sony buy former-Halo developer Bungie, Take-Two acquire the keys to Farmville developer, and Epic Games bring in Brazilian developer Aquiris. Now, there’s another major acquisition rumour swirling around the industry.
Ubisoft — the hugely renowned publisher who has recently brought Immortals Fenyx Rising, Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection, and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle to Switch — is reportedly being eyed up by a number of equity firms. Bloomberg reports that these firms include Blackstone and KKR, both of which have formally invested in gaming and technology-related companies.
Last year, Ubisoft launched its own NFT platform to a pretty negative response, but the studio dipping its toes in may well have attracted this potential investor interest. And although their upcoming Project Q won’t feature them, their experimentation with NFTs is still of note.
Kotaku reports that Ubisoft has been using consultancy firms to audit and “tidy up its books” for a potential sale. And while multiple publications have reached out to the studio, Ubisoft has not confirmed whether this is the case. The rumours have done wonders for the company’s stock over the weekend, however, which jumped 11% on Friday as whispers got louder.
Ubisoft has also been subject to allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment, with Ubisoft admitting last year that it had severely mishandled the process. And with a number of high-profile departures and game delays, the Assassin’s Creed publisher has been in a precarious position for some time.
Even though this is a rumour at the moment, the broader consolidation of the video game industry looks like it’s going to continue for the foreseeable future. We’ll keep you updated if anything gets confirmed.