Ubisoft defends itself from Vivendi and why its important

Despite creating amazing games and long-lasting franchises, you would be surprised to hear Ubisoft was trying to avoid a hostile takeover of their company for several years from Vivendi. Vivendi is a French multimedia company. They are active in music, television, film, and video games. They were the previous owners of the most shares for Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft, OverWatch) before they became Activision Blizzard. Vivendi began to purchase shares of Gameloft and Ubisoft to own the companies. CEO of UbisoftYves Guillemot and Michel Guillemot, viewed their acquirement as a hostile takeover and worked together to prevent Vivendi from purchasing more stocks.

What do Shareholders do?

Investors can purchase a majority of shares than others to have influence on the Board of Directors (BoD). The Board of Directors vote to determine which direction a company should move and they represent the shareholders. Depending on how much a person invests into shares determine the amount of power within their votes. Vivendi attempt to buy more shares was to own Ubisoft just like they bought most of the shares for Gameloft. Vivendi denied the accusations on December 2016. They had owned 27.5% prior to the current news. France laws states if a person owns more than 30%, they are obligated to offer to buy the company.

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Yves worked with individuals to prevent Vivendi from purchasing more shares. Vivendi is now selling its 27% shares for 2 billion euros. Ubisoft and the Guillemot Brothers C.E. (Representative company of Ubisoft‘s founders Guillemot family) will acquire 15% of Vivendi‘s shares.  Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan — an independent organization that administers pensions for about 318,000 teachers in Canada’s most populous province- and Tencent (League of Legends, PUBG China), a Chinese conglomerate will purchase the 3.4% and 5% of the remaining stock but won’t have seat on the BoD. The rest will be sold through accelerated book building.

Why is this important?

The Board of Directors have huge influence on companies but they may not follow the same views as the CEO or how people want the company to act. Their biggest focus is on the companies to earn as much money as possible. With Ubisoft owning most of the shares and already setting plans for 2018 – 2020, they can choose their own business practice. Shareholders won’t have the influence to force Ubisoft to use “dirty” business strategies such as releasing more DLC, releasing unpolished games or creating more mobile games. We want gaming companies to choose their own business goals without compromising their principles because of the shareholders.

Sources:

Global News Wire

Polygon

Overclock

Invenstopedia 2

 

Epic Games and Fortnite cheaters Lawsuit finished

Epic Games, creators of Fortnite: Battle Royal, settles their lawsuit with one of its cheater: Charles Vraspir. If you’re curious on reading more about the allegation, you can read my previous article here. The lawsuit was from Epic Games regarding Charles Vraspir‘s usage of using aimbots and using cheats the game to deliberating targeting Twitch streamers in the game. He was also banned numerous times before the lawsuit. Vraspir was agreed to delete all software related to Addicted Cheats from his computer. He is forbidden from cheating on Fortnite and any Epic Games in the future. If he were to violate the policy, he would be charge a minimum of $5,000. The cheats affected the game code which was against the company’s policy: Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Link to the injunction from Torrent Freak here.

In regards to the 14-year-old, Caleb “Sky Orbit” Rogers, his case is still being discussed. He was also caught using the same cheating software in the game but also creating tutorial guides on how to utilize cheats in Fortnite: Battle Royale. Epic issued a DMCA takedown on the video which Rogers contested. This led to legal action by Epic. However, they were unaware that Rogers was 14. Rogers’ mother contested the lawsuit based on his age that Rogers was not affected the sales of the game because it is free and the EULA was not binding because of his age. As of December 7, the lawsuit is still active against Rogers and the protection of anonymity is void because his mother put his name on her letter.

What do you think of Gaming companies taking legal action against cheaters? Do you feel that it crosses the line or that they have the legal right? Does making the game free affect your opinion on potential lawsuits?

Opinion:

I personally think suing the players is quite extreme. While I agree cheaters should be punished, I think permanently banning them or their IP address similar to Blizzard is more effective.

Sources:

Rolling Stones

Polygon