Tencent purchases $300 million stake in Ubisoft

Ubisoft has announced that Chinese tech giant Tencent has invested €300 million (about $297.2 million) in the company. In a press release from Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot, this 50 percent stake “further reinforces Ubisoft’s core shareholding around its founders and provides the company with the stability essential for its long-term development.”

At the start of August, a report surfaced that Tencent was aiming to become Ubisoft’s largest shareholder. It previously acquired a small percent stake in the publisher of Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance, but was looking to up its stake, including buying 15 percent from the Guillemot brothers (Yves, Christian, Claude, Michel, and Gérard). 

“Tencent is a key shareholder partner for many of the industry’s leaders, who have created some of the most outstanding video games,” continued Guillemot. “This transaction reinforces our ability to create strong value over the coming years.”

“This agreement also aligns with our philosophy to invest alongside creative founders with full confidence that they will lead their companies to new heights,” wrote Tencent president Martin Lao. “Ubisoft has shown an impressive ability to consistently create world-class entertainment that include some of the most successful franchises in the industry.” 

Tencent is providing Ubisoft with a “long-term unsecured loan” to refinance its debt. Additionally, it’ll be releasing several Ubisoft PC games in China, along with covering the development costs of its mobile titles. 

However, Ubisoft won’t be changing its ownership as part of the transaction. Earlier this year, Guillemot admitted that being acquired wasn’t out of the realm of possibility, so long as Ubisoft remained independent.

Elsewhere, Ubisoft management is still said to have not met the demands of pro-worker group A Better Ubisoft. The group was formed following multiple reports of the publisher’s alleged culture of harassment and misconduct. 

Tencent has been gradually making moves to have a bigger presence in the western games space, particularly triple-A game development. Last week, it and Sony increased their stakes in Elden Ring developer From Software. 

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