Keep it in The Family
In a timeline where a wide variety of studios and publishers appear to be selling up, AAA studio Ubisoft appears to be doubling down on the concept of self-ownership. According to a report by SeekingAlpha, Ubisoft’s founding family, The Guillemots, are considering outright purchasing the company themselves.
Ubisoft was established in 1986 by the five Guillemot brothers, with Yves currently situated as CEO, a role that he has occupied since 1988. The then-“Ubi Soft” was formed as a general multimedia company, before soon diverting its sole focus to home computers and gaming. Today, Ubisoft is one of gaming’s most recognized developers, having helmed hugely successful franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Rainbow Six Siege, and The Division.
Despite being the founders of the company, the Guillemot family’s stake in Ubisoft currently sits around 16% of ownership and 22% of voting shares. Following a Bloomberg report that suggests Ubisoft might be looking for a new owner, it is believed that the Guillemots are looking for partnership equity with which to purchase the publisher. According to Bloomberg, the Guillemots’ closest competition is investment firm Blackstone, which already holds stock in major companies such as Google and Epic Games.
Ubisoft has come under scrutiny in recent years following reports of sexual harassment, abuse, and other toxic behavior within the studio. Despite promises to improve the health and safety of its huge international base of employees, in-house campaigners “A Better Ubisoft” insist that little progress has been made since the initial allegations came to light, way back in the summer of 2020.