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View Full Version : EA Buys 20% of Ubisoft


jimjagger
12-20-2004, 02:01 PM
"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."




http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/574/574446p1.html?fromint=1 (http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/574/574446p1.html?fromint=1)





If EA now own 20% of Ubisoft that means that they are paying 20% of my wages. 20% of my wages is one day a week.

I think I’ll stay home that day. ;o)

dotTom
12-20-2004, 02:14 PM
EA, the new Microsoft (in every sense of the word).

mummey
12-20-2004, 02:21 PM
EA, the new Microsoft (in every sense of the word).
damn, he took my line! :p

ElectroLux
12-20-2004, 02:28 PM
Ack... I wonder how many games or game series die this time.

Ollarin
12-20-2004, 03:11 PM
EA, the new Microsoft (in every sense of the word).
Wow. That was exactly what i was thinking. :/

EA is starting to scare me, they will buy everything over. :(

Tizmo
12-20-2004, 03:12 PM
If I remember correctly Talpa only had 10% of Ubisoft shares (posted some time ago somewhere else), if so, then how can EA buy 20% of them?

Didn't EA buy 20% of the shares that Talpa had? Which comes down to 2%?

[edit] found it, for the ones who read dutch: http://www.tweakzone.nl/nieuws/5090

Lord3d2
12-20-2004, 04:32 PM
EA is doing what every single buisness would love to do.

If any other company had the chance, they would take it aswell.

dotTom
12-20-2004, 04:32 PM
It's the perfect time for EA to behave this way, i.e. grabbing control of critical middleware and coding shops before the next console generation hits the market. There are so many things wrong with this not least the EA can put so many titles onto the market that they can pretty much guarentee to have at least 3 of the top 5 slots. The thought of them being in control of RenderWare too is grim. Given the projected increase in development budgets to meet consumer expectation with the next round of hardware it's going to be very hard for any small dev to have more than one project running at a given time. Which makes their existance very scary, EA on the other hand can have dozens running through the pipe at any time.

Dennik
12-20-2004, 05:14 PM
Its so sad that they haven't put a limit (by law) to this buy out game.
It ruins the competition, diversity and progress in general. :sad:

Pinoy McGee
12-20-2004, 05:32 PM
"We are the Borg. Resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated."
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PhilOsirus
12-20-2004, 05:46 PM
This sucks indeed. Splinter Cell is coming out in a few months, the recent releases are selling good, basicly Ubi is definitly on the right track, but now we have this cloud hanging over our heads. Hopefully it won't pass the anti-trust check with EA's recent ESPN stunt, but it will most likely pass since it's "only" 19.9%. What else can be said...

This is probably not up to date, it says Talpa had 10%. EA bought all his shares I believe and it is supposed to be a total of 19.9%.
http://www.ubisoftgroup.com/InvestorCenter/shareholders

By the way Jim, great site, great anims, but you gotta fix that <b></b> tag in your link!:)

Andreyev
12-20-2004, 05:48 PM
EA is doing what every single buisness would love to do.

If any other company had the chance, they would take it aswell.
Yup, you're right.
Well anyway the problem is not in EA I think... They're can't buy something from those who are not selling or don't want to sell. And if they are - they're the same as EA :-) This is business.

But I think that EA must be a bit less aggresive in their ambitions...

Knotter8
12-20-2004, 06:27 PM
It's not so much about the actual purchase of stock. Moreso about the potential influence EA'll have in actual Ubi game content. At 19.9 % stock, in this gen of console games, all is OK, but what about the next generation of games ?

Remember Westwood ? Remember what a proud name Bond 007 once was in the N64 era ?

Not to mention the , ahhum, 'quality' of their F1 racing games. Slideshows have better framerates !

OMG, I really dislike EA now more than I already did. :sad:

dstripinis
12-20-2004, 06:31 PM
Well, it's not a matter of buying if somebody wants to sell, it's a atter of making investors "an offer they can't refuse".

Say that ubisoft is trading @ $20. EA comes in and offers to buy every share for $30 dollars.. Boom. Anyone would be stupid NOT to sell.

If Ubisoft has more than 50% of their stock publicly owned, they should worry.

Nightez
12-20-2004, 06:45 PM
from Reuters

Ubi Soft says Electronic Arts stake building is hostile
PARIS, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Ubi Soft Entertainment (UBIP.PA: Quote (http://www.investor.reuters.com/FullQuote.aspx?ticker=UBIP.PA&target=%2fstocks%2fquickinfo%2ffullquote), Profile (http://www.investor.reuters.com/CompanyOverview.aspx?ticker=UBIP.PA), Research (http://www.investor.reuters.com/StockReports.aspx?ticker=UBIP.PA)) said on Monday it would consider U.S. firm Electronic Arts' (ERTS.O: Quote (http://www.investor.reuters.com/FullQuote.aspx?ticker=ERTS.O&target=%2fstocks%2fquickinfo%2ffullquote), Profile (http://www.investor.reuters.com/CompanyOverview.aspx?ticker=ERTS.O), Research (http://www.investor.reuters.com/StockReports.aspx?ticker=ERTS.O)) stake building as &quot;hostile&quot;, until it received further details from the company. &quot;Pending further information, we consider this operation as hostle,&quot; an Ubi Soft spokesman told Reuters.

&quot;We think this operation is aimed at securing the studios of Ubi Soft that are ready to face the next generation of gaming consoles,&quot; he added.

Electronic Arts said earlier on Monday it was buying about 19.9 percent of the French video game maker, fuelling speculation it might bid for the whole company.

Electronic Arts, the world's No.1 video game publisher, is buying shares in Ubi Soft as a block from Talpa Beheer BV, the investment vehicle of Dutch media tycoon John de Mol.

(Writing by Dominique Vidalon; Reuters Messaging: rm://dominique.vidalon.reuters.com@reuters.net; email: dominique.vidalon@reuters.com; Telephone: +33 1 49495432))

Knotter8
12-20-2004, 06:49 PM
^ No. It's about the integral influence EA will have in the actual game content creation.
They'll steadily enforce a production pipeline upon any studio they've totally bought out
which'll mean massproduction and downgrading of originality and quality to serve their max
sold SKU's and thus max profits.

We're talking quality of game content here ; originality, gameplay, artistic vision etc. It's not JUST a product.

19.9 is not 51 yet, but it's damn scary already.

brudney
12-20-2004, 07:00 PM
goodbye sam fisher, welcome sim fisher :/

kleinluka
12-20-2004, 07:06 PM
Ubisoft Shareholders as of March 31, 2004:

http://www.ubisoftgroup.com/NR/rdonlyres/B8289266-BA2F-4F9C-ACDA-C5033FACC2FB/2052/shareholders1.jpg

dotTom
12-20-2004, 07:09 PM
EA just needs to develop the Sims to the point where they can actually play EA games for us. At which point it'll all go into a infinite regress and EA will implode.

If only.

DeathTrip
12-20-2004, 08:02 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/Metalpug79/EAmerica.gif

Its only a matter of time :(



EA buying out all these properties is terrible...

heavyness
12-20-2004, 09:01 PM
This just in...



EA buys the rights to the buttons A, B, X, and Y. All controller makers will have to pay EA for the rights to use these buttons.

Also, a judge is still ruling on EA's copyright of Up, Down, Left, and Right control pad directions. Many think the judge will allow this since 46-year-old Russ McCallin of Texas has the copyright on the Up/Left direction combo.

source:www.i_made_this_all_up.com/


We now return you to your regularly forum viewing…

danniesanchez
12-20-2004, 11:10 PM
wish i owned some ubi stock, it rose +25.71% today.

jimjagger
12-20-2004, 11:14 PM
When all said and done, I think it's a smart move on EA's behalf even if people oppose it. What surprises me most is that a company such as EA are allowed to own such a significant stake in another company.

I know very little about the stock market but aren't there laws regarding monopolies? Doesn't EA's purchase create a conflict of interest?

Hey Phil "Osirus", I appreciate you letting me know about my broken link. Thanks for the kind words and the site!

RelaxoRy
12-20-2004, 11:24 PM
I was also thinking Apple, I just didn't know how to say it succinctly.

Wow. That was exactly what i was thinking. :/

EA is starting to scare me, they will buy everything over. :(

pthomas72
12-21-2004, 05:27 AM
Hey Calm down! Its not the end of the world! seriously this is how western business works
an industry matures and when the dust settles a half dozen (or less) large businesses come out on top.

After awhile the corporations will lose popular standing for smaller independent developers (again). This is all a very normal business cycle thats been going on in America for over a hundred years. TV,Film,Radio, Books, and music. All have and are going through this. Some day Video games will be pushed aside for a bigger and better tech.

its all right
its ok
go play some KATAMARI DAMACY and be happy.

SpiralFace
12-21-2004, 08:45 AM
Hey Calm down! Its not the end of the world! seriously this is how western business works
an industry matures and when the dust settles a half dozen (or less) large businesses come out on top.

After awhile the corporations will lose popular standing for smaller independent developers (again). This is all a very normal business cycle thats been going on in America for over a hundred years. TV,Film,Radio, Books, and music. All have and are going through this. Some day Video games will be pushed aside for a bigger and better tech.

its all right
its ok
go play some KATAMARI DAMACY and be happy.
Your absolutely right pthomas. Just to stick things into perspective, Can anyone here say they played any Maixis games before Sim City? Or for that matter can you remember any realy good Ubisoft games before they made splinter cell and bought the rights to remake prince of persia? Seriously, what Ubisoft games where good back on the SNES or Playstation 1? EA's just buying them out becuase their the hot thing at the moment. But eventualy they'll take all the charm out of the licences they buy out just like the 007 series, but then other game companys will come out with new licences to get people hooked.

Who cares if Splinter Cell goes the way of the 007 games in the end anyways? People should love the game play and inovation of the games and not get attached to the "Name brand" licences. If Splinter Cell goes by the wayside, something else will be made by a smaller independent company that will be better anyways. And good companys are always sprouting up or companys that used to be mediocer before launch big hits. Just look at what this generation did for Naughty Dog and Insomniac. Crash Bandicot and Spyro where Good. But Jak and Rachet seriously kick butt.

And yes, everyone should just calm down and play some Katamari Damacy ( I hear the second one is comming out soon in Japan, I'm thinking I'm going to have to import that one:))

DoLeeP
12-21-2004, 09:25 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/Metalpug79/EAmerica.gif

Its only a matter of time :(
EA buying out all these properties is terrible...LoL
-hehehehehhehehehe :applause:

Knotter8
12-21-2004, 10:42 AM
Just to stick things into perspective
Well, then you should also see the timing of all these things :

recent EA monopoly rights on NFL games
recent EA trying to get monopoly rights on NBA games
recent EA trying to buy DICE
recent EA Ubi stock infiltration
recent EA employee thingy

All this just before the next generation of game consoles. They're trying to set the pace and pipeline for next gen development now. Most of their stuff is quantity over quality already.

I heard Ubi is gonna do the And1 NBA games. Maybe that's one of the major reasons to get Ubi, becuz the NBA rejected them sole rights.

dudeguy
12-21-2004, 04:40 PM
Our old slogan:
"Challenge Everything"

New slogans:
"We Own Everything"
"One EA to rule them all"

Oh ya, and when Skynet goes online and EA becomes a country, I call mayor for the town of Textureville.

SpiralFace
12-22-2004, 02:26 AM
Well, then you should also see the timing of all these things :

recent EA monopoly rights on NFL games
recent EA trying to get monopoly rights on NBA games
recent EA trying to buy DICE
recent EA Ubi stock infiltration
recent EA employee thingy

All this just before the next generation of game consoles. They're trying to set the pace and pipeline for next gen development now. Most of their stuff is quantity over quality already.

I heard Ubi is gonna do the And1 NBA games. Maybe that's one of the major reasons to get Ubi, becuz the NBA rejected them sole rights.Yeah your absolutely right. My earlyer post was mainly made to point out that despite the fact that EA is aggressively doing all these things. Smaller companys do come along and make good games. Someone earlyer comented that smaller companys are all going to be a thing of the past when EA buys out everything. I was only showing that companys like Maxis, Ubisoft, and now DICE get started up and make hits without EA. True they'll be bought out by them, but then another Independent company will sprout out regardless and make something worth playing. Yeah EA will then probably buy them out too, but I was just trying to show that Despite all of this, the smaller companys will still be around making good games.

Knotter8
12-22-2004, 07:56 AM
but I was just trying to show that Despite all of this, the smaller companys will still be around making good games.
Uhm..ok, that might be. but I was trying to point out that due to EA strengthening their already humongous marketing postion they'll set the pace and style and 'quality' in the console games industry which will make it even more tough for those gems from little devs to get picked up by the audience, thus having even less odds.

Look at Sony. They're big and all, but they still budget unique projects like Ico and now Wanda. Ubi's done it with Beyond Good & Evil. Such games will have less and less chance the more EA will get hold on the industry :sad:

SpiralFace
12-22-2004, 09:21 AM
I personaly don't think it will change THAT much. Yeah they'll set a pace and a style for themselves which they've always had, but I don't think everyone developing next gen games out there is going to jump on that style in order to be sucessful. Halo is nowhere near that style, and it had a super-extended development time, but it still wiped the floor against any EA title at retail. Beyond Good and Evil even had a pretty good amount of retail sails. Granted it was'nt as much as it deserved, but it still made money. And it was no where near the style that EA uses. Look at almost every single game of the year, or best of catagory, and you'll see that the only consistant that EA has as far as good games go (As according to the Game Critics and the voteing internet population) is its sports line. Mainly because the target demographic is the people that are fans of the real games. Meaning people who are not looking for anything special, just something accurate to real life. Every other Catagory has non-EA titles at the top of their lists. So I'm not worried about EA setting a cirtain pace and style for themselves simply becuase just because THEY do it does'nt mean that everyone else has to do it. If this next batch of systems is like the previous generation of system code, then all the developers are going to have to start at square 1 again anyways to find out how to draw triangles in the new system code that sony seems to love to package with their new systems.

And I recognize that your trying to say this is a huge set up for the next generation of systems, but let me put it this way, EA right now is spending alot of money in order to get themselves in a position where they will be able to out-sell almost everyone in the first round of the next gen games. But if there spending all this money to begin with, they MUST sell more then everyone else in order to make up for all the money there blowing away right now. So just becuase a game of theirs might SELL more it does not guarantee that it will PROFIT more. Yeah EA is becoming the new Microsoft of the gameing world. But right now I personaly beleave that just because EA's doing it, not everyone else is going to just conform to EA's standars in order to become successful.

Ravis
12-22-2004, 09:43 AM
I originally didn't have too much interest in what EA does till I read that "EA_Spouse" article which gives me a little scare

Q_B
12-22-2004, 10:37 AM
originally posted by Shadow Slayer
"I personaly don't think it will change THAT much. Yeah they'll set a pace and a style for themselves which they've always had, but I don't think everyone developing next gen games out there is going to jump on that style in order to be sucessful."
Yeah. Problem is that "themselves" is turning into a preety big fat slice of the whole...

WazaR
12-22-2004, 05:22 PM
Very simple rule.

Dont buy EA games.


EVER.
That at least is my stance.

dmonk
12-22-2004, 05:41 PM
Very simple rule.

Dont buy EA games.


EVER.
That at least is my stance.
None of you Guys play Madden?

Dirtystimpy
12-22-2004, 06:12 PM
None of you Guys play Madden?
Never been a madden fan, even in the sega genisis days, i prefered their college football, what was it, bill walsh?. The biggest problem w/ their sports games is they are just too stiff. the guys only run straight motions, no leaning when cutting or going at an angle. Espn football and baseball all the way.

Knotter8
12-22-2004, 06:16 PM
None of you Guys play Madden?
Nope.

I bought 1 EA game once ; F1 2002 (PS2) for € 40, -

I would have been more satisfied if I had given those € 40, - to the poor. Seriously.
Framerate worse than a slideshow. Horrific controls. Game on PS2 cdrom, not dvd rom
so everything to very long to load.

Don't get me wrong ; this is not the only EA game i ever played, but this one happened
to be the one I bought myself instead playing at friends or family. Granted EA Big is slightly better, but most EA games imo have a serious framerate problem. Just look at NFSU2 on
PC.

If you've ever played Rareware's GoldenEye 007 on N64, you ought to know EA's Bond games just cannot compete. Heck, recent GoldenEye : Rogue Agent game is a shame to that Rare game.

Ok, the stock has been acquired. I just hope EA will not interfere with Ubi's way of making games. Ubi Montreal got an extra 6 months for Splinter Cell Chaos Theory ; now that's true care about producing a quality game product. Would EA have given the team that extra time and funding ? :rolleyes:

SpiralFace
12-22-2004, 07:08 PM
None of you Guys play Madden?
I perfer going outside and playing sports games with friends for real. even playing a 2 on 2 football game is more entertaining for me then playing a 4 player Madden game. But hey, thats just me and I know the millions of people who play madden whould dissagree with me. But thats why we have alittle something called personal opinion.

rendermania
12-22-2004, 10:46 PM
Uhm..ok, that might be. but I was trying to point out that due to EA strengthening their already humongous marketing postion they'll set the pace and style and 'quality' in the console games industry which will make it even more tough for those gems from little devs to get picked up by the audience, thus having even less odds.
Don't know if EA is really that scary. I've got a game concept sitting in my drawer that I wrote /sketched on a couple of sheets of paper while waiting for a friend in a cafeteria couple of months back. A relatively simple but potentially quite addictive multiplayer game with old skool gameplay. Even sat down over a weekend and built a quick prototype for it. Suppose I set three or four months aside at some point to build the actual thing and hire two or three friends to supply some additional graphics/soundfx/original music for it. How, in the internet age, does EA stop me from marketing and selling it successfully?

I can build my own website for the game without needing anyone's help or permission. There are places where I can get my demo version hosted for free. I know where to find gamers online (discussion boards, news groups etc), so I have a very potent way to reach fellow gamers and spread the news. I can also sell my game online without needing CDs or packaging, because its gameplay rather than fancy visuals/extra junk driven, so its a pretty quick, compact download. Pay and play. Fast and easy.

That's just one example of an independent game hitting the market without going through any fancy distribution channels or heaploads of money being spent on it. Can it sell decently, even with big titles and big marketing around? Yes it can, provided the gameplay is strong enough to really hook people and get a good word-of-mouth/fanbase thing going.

There are lots of gamers like myself out there, who don't really care who made a game, or what pixel shaders/EAX sound it uses, or whether the level design looks fancy or not. Its gameplay, good interaction design and above all originality that counts. Any price for something truly new really. Too many fancily produced 'sequel to a sequel of a sequel' games out there.

dmonk
12-23-2004, 11:55 AM
I perfer going outside and playing sports games with friends for real. even playing a 2 on 2 football game is more entertaining for me then playing a 4 player Madden game. But hey, thats just me and I know the millions of people who play madden whould dissagree with me. But thats why we have alittle something called personal opinion.
Understandable, but Madden has an insanely big following and I have to admit I have 2004 and 2005.

I can't say I'm too angry about them being a corporation and trying to make as much money as possible. I would be surprise if they didn't with thresources they have. I don't agree with it, but any business with shareholders would have done the same thing. I totaly don't think the stories about them abusing employees is cool, things like that never sit well with me.

All of that being said, I and a lot of people in my family (and millions) most likely will still go out and buy the next Madden, unless it's complete poop. Madden is fun and addictive, but I have a feeling the majority of people on this forum don't play sport titles anyway. People outside of the industry don't know and honestly don't care about the behind the scenes to be perfectly honest.

pixeloddity
12-23-2004, 01:58 PM
EA is doing what every single buisness would love to do.

If any other company had the chance, they would take it aswell.

SpiralFace
12-27-2004, 09:08 AM
All of that being said, I and a lot of people in my family (and millions) most likely will still go out and buy the next Madden, unless it's complete poop. Madden is fun and addictive, but I have a feeling the majority of people on this forum don't play sport titles anyway. People outside of the industry don't know and honestly don't care about the behind the scenes to be perfectly honest.
Well.... Although alot of people don't care about the behind the scenes. (That or they care, but they completely don't understand.) Alot of people do care about creative insparation in games. But Madden is not targeted for that particuler audiance. Games like Katamari Damacy, Disgea, Warcraft, Metriod, Pikmin, Odd World, and Dawn of War are made more for the Gamers that are drawn to games run by creativity. And the developers are confident that even if they create something completely new, even for a well developed licence like warcraft, their target audiance will still be exited, and accept their creative decision.

While games like Madden, GTA, Unreal, Tiger woods, The Sims, The Lord of the Rings, Need for speed Underground, and others like them are not made to be creative as much as they are designed to appeal to the mass market. These are games that we will not see much change from their first incarnation till their last incarnation. And whose sole purpose is to attract as many people to them as possible.

Now I'm not saying your on one side or the other. I'm just saying that games are made, from the get go, to target a cirtain audiance. Some people like creativity and variation. But (Unfortunatly for us.) Alot of people just like to play one good thing and do the same thing over, and over, and over again. I'm just saying that you won't find alot of people around here likeing madden becuase (For the most part) we all here are the creatively inspired lot. And Madden is'nt intended to be targeted for us. It's trying to find its home in those foot ball fans that whould ask you to shoot football straight into their blood stream if it was available in IV format.

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