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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ubisoft fights off Electronic Arts

Game maker Ubisoft fights back

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"French game maker Ubisoft has appealed to shareholders to resist overtures by US games giant Electronic Arts (EA).

Last December, EA snapped up a 20% stake in one of Europe's largest video game makers.

Since then, Ubisoft has been fighting what it considers a hostile bid.

At the recent E3 games expo in Los Angeles, Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot urged shareholders to hold on to their stocks, saying the value of the company would double in the next two years.

'We are working hard to remain independent,' Mr Guillemot told the BBC News website.

Gallic pride

Ubisoft has a portfolio of more than 1,000 games titles and 2,300 developers in studios in Canada, China, France and the US.

We are in a business of creation. We need to keep the creativity and that is the value of the company
Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft It has enjoyed success with games such as Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and Prince of Persia.

EA, the world's largest games company, showed an interest in Ubisoft in December when it bought 20% of the firm.

The move by the American giant provoked strong feelings, with the French press seeing it as an assault on the Gallic gaming industry.

For Mr Guillemot, who started Ubisoft with his four brothers in the mid-1980s, this was unwelcomed attention.

"We know those guys are around," he said, referring to the EA interest. "

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