Ubisoft Takes Driver for a Ride

Ubisoft has announced that they’ve done something that doesn’t happen very often. They’ve purchased a rather successful and popular game series from another company. In this case, it’s Atari selling the rights to Driver for $24 million, admittedly a series that has seen better days, but still is very strong.

This is an obvious symptom of the troubles at Atari. They’re apparently starting to shed intellectual property just to stay afloat.

UBISOFT ANNOUNCES THAT IT WILL ACQUIRE FROM ATARI THE DRIVER® FRANCHISE AND THE MAJORITY OF THE ASSETS OF REFLECTIONS INTERACTIVE LIMITED STUDIO

PARIS – JULY 13, 2006 – Today Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, announces that it has concluded an agreement with Atari, Inc. and Reflections Interactive Limited to acquire the intellectual property and technology rights to Driver®, the world acclaimed franchise, as well as most of the assets and all of the personnel of Reflections Interactive Limited. The acquisition will be completed for a cash price of 19 M€ ($24 M U.S. per exchange rate of $1.27 to 1€ as of 7/13/06).

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in Ubisoft’s second quarter of fiscal 2007.

“We are thrilled with this acquisition which will allow us to add a prestigious title to our catalog and to enter into the driving games segment, one of the most important segments in the gaming industry. With more than 14 million units sold throughout the world, Driver® is one of the most successful brands in the history of video games. We look forward to leveraging the unique knowledge of the Ubisoft studios to ensure that Driver will be one of the leading brands of the next generation of consoles,” said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer of Ubisoft.

tim.stevens

Freelance journalist and software architect based in Upstate NY. I write for a variety of different places (as you’ll see) -- maybe even for you if you ask nicely.

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