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Vivendi is getting back into the game in a big way.
The French media company revealed today that it now owns a 10.4 percent stake in Ubisoft and a 10.2 percent stake in Gameloft (via Wall Street Journal), two significant publishers in two different gaming markets. The corporation spent $134.4 million (€118.4 million) to bump up its investment in the industry. This comes less than a month after Vivendi purchased around 6 percent of each respective company for $178.2 million (€160 million). This is a move to help Vivendi get exposure once again to the gaming space. The company reportedly has around $9.5 billion sitting in its savings account, and now it is putting that money to work.
Vivendi isn’t new to gaming. It used to own a large part of Activision Blizzard, one of the biggest game publishers in the world, but it exited the gaming business in July 2013 when Activision bought back all of its stock.
This time around, Vivendi is investing its cash closer to Europe. Paris is the home of the headquarters for Ubisoft, Gameloft, and Vivendi. And by putting money into two companies with different strategies — Ubisoft hits the console, PC, and mobile markets while Gameloft focuses on mobile — the French conglomerate is a bit more diversified than it was with Activision.
Ubisoft is best known for its triple-A releases, like Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. The publisher is one of the best at releasing major blockbusters on a regular schedule. This includes an annual release for Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance, but it also means frequent entries in the Far Cry series as well.
Gameloft focuses on mobile. The studio is responsible for console-like releases as well as movie- and sports-licensed games. It regularly releases games in its Asphalt racing series, which plays like Need for Speed, and its Modern Combat franchise, which is a clear attempt to ape the success of Call of Duty.
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