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Is Ubisoft the next big games studio in line for a takeover?

The gaming developer Ubisoft could be the next major studio that could be subject to a big money acquisition bid, according to credible reports.

The studio behind the Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and the Tom Clancy games is attracting interest from so-called “buyout funds.”

According to Bloomberg sources, it’s not the likes of Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft who’re considering snapping-up the French developer, but big money players like Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co. The report says Ubisoft hasn’t engaged in serious negations with any of the suitors, but “deliberations are at an early stage.”

It’s not clear whether a serious offer will come in, and even less clear whether the company’s chairman would be interested in accepting any kind of offer. Any decision would rest on the family of Ubisoft Chairman Yves Guillemot, which Bloomberg delivers has the largest shareholding at 15%. However, the company has suffered in recent years following a steady steam of game delays and underwhelming releases from key franchises.

After the likes of Activision Blizzard and Bethesda came under Microsoft’s control in the last couple of years, the number of major developers that have remained independent of the console makers is beginning to thin out.

The likes of Ubisoft, Capcom, and Electronic Arts remain free to publish their games on any platform, whereas some of the acquired developers are likely to become exclusive to either Sony or Microsoft platforms in the years to come. The likes of Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Fallout, Skyrim and Doom could become Xbox and PC exclusives.

If a developer like Ubisoft came into the hands of an investment firm, it might end up being better for gamers than if it was bought by Sony or Microsoft.

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