Under-pressure Ubisoft plan new ventures in Netflix and mobile gaming

"Who brings doughnuts to a hacking party? You forgot the pizza!"

Yves Guillemot, the head of Ubisoft, outlined a number of new initiatives for the giant publisher, including a possible Netflix series, some huge mobile gaming acquisitions and hundreds of new jobs in France.

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The news comes via Reuters, reporting from a news briefing on Monday. According to Guillemot, Ubisoft is “in talks with Netflix” about producing a TV series based on one of its videogame properties. This would be a new plank in Ubisoft’s growing multimedia platform, following its many novels, comics and, of course, the Assassin’s Creed movie, which hits cinemas on December 21.

Guillemot also says Ubisoft are considering new acquisitions, primarily in the mobile gaming sector. For the right company, it seems his budget stretches quite a distance: Reuters quotes a price range of €50-100 million (up to $110.7 million US). Guillemot also says his company is considering hiring between 500 and 1,000 new staff in France over the next five years.

The bullish announcements come just as Vivendi, the vast media conglomerate, increased its stake in Ubisoft, sparking renewed chatter of a hostile takeover. Against this context, Guillemot reiterated his wish to keep Ubisoft independent, saying the company’s founding family was looking at ways they could retain control. Vivendi, for its part, has denied it is pursuing a hostile takeover bid as recently as October.