|Bid||N/A x N/A|
|Ask||N/A x N/A|
|Day's range||65.84 - 70.74|
|52-week range||39.89 - 85.54|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.82|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings date||13 May 2020 - 18 May 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||93.50|
(Bloomberg) -- Voodoo SAS’s backers are exploring the sale of a stake in the French mobile game developer, people with knowledge of the matter said.Shareholders of Voodoo are working with an adviser as they consider selling part or all of their holdings in the company, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. A deal could value the Paris-based firm at more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion), the people said.They are gauging interest from potential investors including rival game developers such as Ubisoft Entertainment SA and Zynga Inc., the people said. Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said.The plan to sell is a rare example of a Europe deal process launching in the middle of the coronavirus-led market rout that’s hampered M&A activity globally. The game industry is one of the few that’s benefited from the crisis, which has confined millions of people across the continent in their homes.Mobile game downloads globally jumped 23% in March from February, hitting the highest-ever level for a single month, according to data from analytics firm Sensor Tower Inc. Gross revenue from mobile games rose 7% from the previous month, the data show.Voodoo sold a stake in 2018 to a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. private equity fund called West Street Capital Partners VII. It said at the time that cofounders Alexandre Yazdi and Laurent Ritter retained a majority holding.The company, which was started in 2013, makes easy-to-play casual games including “Helix Jump,” “Roller Splat” and “Snake VS Block.” Many are free to download with optional in-game purchases. The company’s games have over 300 million monthly active users and have generated more than 2 billion downloads, according to its website.Representatives for Voodoo, Goldman, Ubisoft and Zygna declined to comment.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Gaming is experiencing an unprecedented boom right now, but behind the scenes, the coronavirus pandemic is hitting the $150 billion industry in subtle yet significant ways -- delaying crucial development, squeezing out smaller studios and disrupting the pipeline of new games heading into 2021.As with other sectors, Covid-19 has cleared the 2020 calendar by torpedoing marquee events like the Game Developers Conference this month and the biggest of them all, E3, in the summer. The litany of cancellations is especially painful for a business that, like the film industry, relies on flashy annual gatherings to launch big-name titles, connect publishers with creators and raise the profile of indie studios aspiring to become the next Rockstar Games.Shares in some game makers like Nintendo Co. have trended upward over the past week alongside a steep increase in playtime with government-ordered lockdowns around the world. But David Amador, who runs a one-man operation called Upfall Studios out of Lisbon, has a different perspective.“Despite the technology and communication channels at our disposal, nothing really beats the face-to-face meeting,” Amador said. “It’s an increasingly challenging market and being able to talk to customers in a casual environment and having them play our games helps a lot.”A serendipitous encounter two years ago at Gamescom, Europe’s premier gaming showcase, secured Amador a license to develop for the Nintendo Switch platform, he said. Missing events like the postponed Nordic Game Jam this year, “it’s hard to know the damage of people we won’t meet or deals not closed.” He works with freelancers when developing his games, and the trickle-down effect of missed opportunities for studios like his is a shortfall of work for designers and artists.Read more: The Virus Is Interrupting Supply Chains From Watches to Lobsters“For smaller publishers or indies like me, a chance conversation can lead to big things,” said Iain Garner, who runs Another Indie, a 12-person game publisher based in Taipei and the Chinese city of Xiamen. Like Amador, Garner was able to secure a much sought-after development license after meeting the right person at GDC, and his studio’s action game Sinner made it onto Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox Game Pass service after exhibiting at a crowded booth.He now plans to shift budget originally planned for shows to online ads and trailers. “I am not worried about us going under because of this, but I am quite sure we will take a hit overall,” he added.At a time when Valve Corp.’s Steam online gaming service is breaking records and global gaming publishers are registering increased demand due to millions of people stuck at home, the systems designed to build those companies’ future success are faltering.One game project that Upfall Studios was doing work for has been put on hold because its developers weren’t able to demo it at GDC and haven’t yet managed to pitch it remotely. Two other developers Amador has collaborated with are also struggling to secure remote calls with publishers.Before the coronavirus grew into a global pandemic, it was already interrupting the supply chain for game art and assets, as many big publishers rely on outsourcing to art studios in China, which was first to suffer the effects.Read more: Even Virtual Goods From China Are Taking a Hit From CoronavirusSuper Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai wrote in industry magazine “Famitsu” last week that the release of additional content for his blockbuster series would be delayed due to the coronavirus. Private Division, a unit of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., said last month that its Outer Worlds action role-playing game would also be late arriving on Nintendo Co.’s Switch due to the pandemic.One major Chinese mobile game publisher had lined up a series of meetings for E3 and GDC and is now having to recreate those via much less efficient online calls, according to a person informed who asked not to be named discussing private plans. Japanese studios in particular, the person said, have insisted on meeting and signing contracts in person, pushing more projects into limbo until after virus-containment measures are relaxed.The boss of a game studio that often produces so-called AAA titles for major publishers said that the biggest business opportunities every year were on the sidelines of trade shows. Meeting dozens of prospective clients at hotels near convention centers, developers thrash out the deals that lead to game releases months down the line, said the person, asking to remain anonymous.Several of Japan’s leading game studios have tried and struggled with online tools for pitching remotely, according to multiple executives. The biggest problem, they said, is difficulty in establishing trust with new partners. This is having an impact on game platforms, which can’t expand libraries as fast as they’d like, publishers who have to fill mid- to long-term game release pipelines and indie developers who can’t secure business, they said. The executives asked not to be identified discussing non-public strategy.Complicating matters, new consoles from Microsoft and Sony Corp. slated for the end of the year mean even more development work for already hard-pressed studios, said Billy Pidgeon, analyst at Go Play Research. “EA, Activision, Ubisoft and others track games on a profit/loss basis to determine whether they will be completed on time” and they don’t hesitate to cancel ones they deem to have a low chance of profitability.For now, big publishers are assuring the public that the spread of the coronavirus disease, known as Covid-19, isn’t hampering them too badly. Ubisoft Entertainment SA said in a statement that “At the moment, the impact of COVID-19 on Ubisoft productions is minimal and has not affected our release schedule for the upcoming fiscal year.” The longer-term effects, however, are difficult to quantify.“There’s really little visibility into that right now, given we don’t know how long this will last, how effective they can be remote and how complete games are already,” said Matthew Kanterman of Bloomberg Intelligence.(Updates with developer’s comment in the seventh paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The coronavirus epidemic in China cast the production of the world’s electronics into disarray. What’s less well known is that it also disrupted the global supply of digital goods for games.Beyond iPhones, laptops and consoles, China is also the largest production base for digital art in mobile, PC and console games. Global developers from Activision Blizzard Inc. to Ubisoft Entertainment rely on third-party studios in the country for a huge chunk of their art, enticed by the same cheap-but-capable labor force that draws manufacturing orders from Apple Inc. and Nike Inc.Art suppliers across gaming hubs in Shanghai and Chengdu are failing to deliver costumes, armor and other digital assets on time, because designers were barred from studios by strict quarantine rules -- a major impedient in a line of work that requires stringent data security and networks of high-powered workstations. That’s forced gaming companies to reduce or cancel orders, according to people inside the industry, and scout for alternatives in Southeast Asia and Europe to take up the slack.Jefferies analysts led by Ken Rumph estimate that as much as 50% of art creation in Western games is done in China, either by local outposts of major developers like Ubisoft and Electronic Arts Inc. or by outsourcing. “If delays are extensive, we would expect a growing list of game delays,” they wrote in a February note.Read more: China Has Taken Over From the U.S. as the ‘Gamer Capital of the World’While the full scale of this disruption is yet to be defined, the games industry is already taking hits from its China reliance. The American developer of popular sci-fi role-playing title The Outer Worlds said in February it had to delay the release of the Nintendo Switch version -- after the China-based studio it hired to adapt the game paused operations during the virus outbreak.“We redid all the planning for all our projects,” said Philippe Angely, a senior executive with Virtuos Ltd., whose China team is handling The Outer Worlds’ Switch adaptation. With 1,200 developers across the cities of Shanghai, Chengdu and Xi’an, Virtuos estimates an average of a two-week delay on projects, he said, and a halving of February revenue as a result.Virtuos, whose clients include Ubisoft, Square Enix Holdings Co., and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s Riot Games, has only just gotten back to full capacity in the past few days, but it remains hampered by local restrictions. Its 600 staffers in Chengdu, for instance, have to rotate across two 8-hour shifts to comply with government-imposed limits on the number of people in indoor areas.Read more: Coronavirus Forces World’s Largest Work-From-Home ExperimentThe online games industry has been among the few beneficiaries of the coronavirus outbreak, as time and money spent on games have surged with millions of people confined to their homes. But the tale is different from the supply side.“Developers and publishers can make revenue as long as they have games running. For outsourcing companies, we have to work every day so clients will send money to our bank accounts,” said Zhang Jian, executive vice president with Chengdu-based Sheer, which has worked with clients including Tencent, NetEase Inc. and Ubisoft.To prevent infection and keep business running at the same time, Sheer has relocated half of its 300 developers to a new office floor the company just rented, Zhang said. Employees are required to sit at every other desk and wear face masks throughout the day. Yet about half a dozen of his company’s projects -- both Chinese and foreign -- have been scaled back or canceled entirely. The studio, which provides services from concept art to 3-D environment creation and character animation, won’t be able to take new orders until the end of March, Zhang said.“The impact on the cash flow will last for the full year,” he said. “We are not in big danger, but we’ll feel a lot safer if we have money on the books.”Unlike supply chains for physical goods, migrating a digital one away from China can be done relatively swiftly. Last year, Ubisoft opened a new studio in Vietnam while Sony unveiled plans to build a Malaysia outpost to make games for its PlayStation consoles. Such moves help global companies tap even cheaper local talent and reduce the risk of regional disruptions like the coronavirus, said Darang S. Candra, a Jakarta-based analyst with game researcher Niko Partners.In Southeast Asia, Vietnam’s Appota, Malaysia’s Streamline Studios and Thailand’s Asiasoft are examples of studios capable of potentially taking orders away from China, he added.“For games that are targeting the Chinese market, we expect no exodus to happen any time soon,” Candra said. “Nevertheless, some outsourcing work might move outside of China if the situation does not recover soon.”To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Yves Guillemot is the CEO of Ubisoft Entertainment SA (EPA:UBI). This report will, first, examine the CEO compensation...
When Ubisoft first approached "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" stars Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day about creating a new show set in the video game industry, McElhenney said they weren't interested — at least not initially. McElhenney explained that a visit to the Montreal offices of Ubisoft — publisher of "Assassin's Creed," "Prince of Persia" and other major game franchises — changed his mind.
Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Thyagaraju Adinarayan. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: firstname.lastname@example.org TRADE DEAL IF OFF, ERR... NO IT'S ON NOW (1023 GMT) Okay, where are we in the trade deal cycle? This situation does look like this satirical chart doing the rounds on Twitter: (Thyagaraju Adinarayan) ***** OPENING SNAPSHOT: SMALL GAINS, ORANGE DRAGS TELCOS (0827 GMT) Not a bad start.
While Ubisoft Entertainment SA (EPA:UBI) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly...
* Swiss Market Index hits record high Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. Main European bourses closed flat today after the EU agreed in principle to delay Brexit but set no new departure date.
The company, known for its best-selling Assassin's Creed franchise, now sees non-IFRS operating income at between 20 million euros and 50 million euros ($22.2 million-$55.5 million) with annual net bookings of about 1.45 billion euros, compared with its prior forecast of 480 million euros in operating income and around 2.19 billion euros in net bookings. The profit warning resulted from a "sharp downward revision in the revenues expected from Ghost Recon Breakpoint and, to a lesser extent, The Division 2," Ubisoft said. For Ghost Recon Breakpoint (...) critical reception and sales during the game's first weeks were very disappointing," Ubisoft's CEO, Yves Guillemot, said in a statement.
European shares rose on Monday, after their steepest weekly loss in two months, as bids in defensive shares outweighed nervousness ahead of crucial U.S.-China trade talks and Brexit negotiations. The food and beverage sector was among the top gainers, while Bayer's 1.4% rise helped the healthcare index climb 0.9%. Bayer's gain, which also lifted peers in the chemical sector , was spurred by the company saying a pending U.S. lawsuit over claims related to glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup has been delayed until further notice.
"Our first-quarter net bookings came in well above target, thanks to the very robust performance of our games, notably Rainbow Six Siege and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey," Yves Guillemot, co-founder and chief executive said in a statement. For the second quarter of the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the Paris-based company, which owns a large game portfolio including Watch Dogs, Far Cry and Ghost Recon Breakpoint, forecasts net bookings of around 310 million euros. Citing higher-than-expected net bookings and positive games' performance, the company confirmed its full-year targets and described its games line-up for the year as one of its strongest in the last five years.
(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. said a new service that will let users play video games from their Xbox consoles on their smartphones will be offered for free.The service, which will be rolled out starting in October, is one part of the company’s new xCloud game-streaming strategy. The other piece will let gamers without access to a console play games using Microsoft’s cloud – the company will store and run the games, and deliver them to players over the internet – for a fee.“It’s about the games you love, the games you already have, with the friends you already have, on the go wherever you want to be on the device you have,” Matt Booty, vice president of Xbox game studios, said in an interview from the E3 conference in Los Angeles. Booty declined to disclose the pricing of the second part of xCloud, except to say that it will be competitive with offerings from Alphabet Inc.’s Google, whose Stadia game-streaming service will go for $10 a month, and Ubisoft Entertainment SA, which unveiled a $15 monthly service.In a press conference ahead of the trade show on Sunday, Microsoft gave the first details on its next-generation console, code-named Project Scarlett. The company said the device will be four times more powerful than the current Xbox One X, thanks to an Advanced Micro Devices Inc. processor that allows speeds of 120 frames per second. Booty declined to comment on pricing for the upcoming console, which goes on sale in 2020, but said the company wants to create a premium product for gamers.“It will absolutely be the most powerful, immersive console on the market,” he said. To contact the authors of this story: Edward Ludlow in San Francisco at email@example.comDina Bass in Seattle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
For a press conference that spent most of the first half on a single title (Watch Dogs: Legion), Ubisoft's E3 press conference was surprisingly packed on the news front. We got a new subscription service, a TV show and even an upcoming film.
Today at its E3 press event, Ubisoft announced that it will be joining the growing list of companies launching their own streaming service. Ubisoft is also opening access to preorders this week — and those who get in early will be get the month of September for free. "More players are in the digital ecosystem than ever before, and a digital subscription is one of the easiest ways for players to access content," Ubisoft VP Brenda Panagross said in a release tied to the news.
Netflix has snagged the distribution rights to Ubisoft's adaptation of "Tom Clancy's The Division" starring Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal. Directed by David Leitch, the new movie will come with a screenplay from Rafe Judkins, who's also penning and showrunning Amazon's adaptation of the "Wheel of Time" series.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey was definitely my favorite game of 2018, and it's getting even better thanks to a couple of new updates Ubisoft announced at E3 this year that help make the most out of the game's incredibly detailed depiction of a mythically massaged Ancient Greek setting. Starting today via an open beta, players can get in on one of these new features -- Story Creator Mode, which is a web-based way for anyone to design, build and share their own in-game story-based quests. All of these missions, once built, can be shared with other Assassin's Creed Odyssey players regardless of platform -- so if you're playing on PS4, you can share missions to players on Xbox, for example, and vice versa.
The Nintendo Wii still has some play left in it. It was already ridiculous that Just Dance 2019 supported the Nintendo Wii, even after axing PS3 support, but now the 2020 version of the dancing video game is still supporting the aged system, Ubisoft said onstage at its E3 press conference. It will be coming to Stadia, Wii, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch in November.
The It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star hit the stage at Ubisoft’s presser this afternoon to show off a trailer from his upcoming ridiculously named Apple TV+ series, Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet. The series was created by McElhenney and Sunny vets Charlie Day and Megan Ganz and produced by Ubisoft Film and Television — marking its first live-action series. Details are thin at the moment, but the series is a workplace comedy set in the offices of the publishers behind the massively successful World of Warcraft-style MMORPG, Mythic Quest.