Vivendi Ponders Dropping Games

A report from Bloomberg, a leading financial news source, indicates Vivendi/Universal is debating whether to remove itself from the games business. The company, second largest worldwide in the entertainment industry, owns the rights to several big franchises such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, as well as controlling respected developer Blizzard Software, maker of the Warcraft and Diablo series.

The reason Vivendi is interested in divesting its interests in gaming, apparently, is its debt-ridden infrastructure. The move to drop gaming would be an attempt to draw fresh investment, which appears to be working already; the speculation has caused the share price of the company to rise on the French market by as much as 7.2 percent, and selling off its gaming division could net the company revenue upwards of two billion euros, or $1.95 billion US.

One of the rumoured parties interested in Vivendi's gaming assets is Sega, although Masato Suzuki, a Sega spokesperson, dutifully denied the speculation: "We were not even aware Vivendi is selling its game operations," he demurred, going on to say that while "It's true we're interested in buying game units in the U.S. and Europe, we have not yet set any specific targets."

Sony, also rumoured as an interested suitor, would only offer this comment, through spokesperson Hiroko Saito: "At present we have not discussed the issue within the company,'' said Sony spokeswoman Hiroko Saito.

Microsoft, the third party said to be interested, would not offer comment. As more information arises on what has the potential to be a very influential decision in the world of gaming, as well as in the RPG community, expect RPGamer to continue following this story.

by Andrew Long    
Sources: [Bloomberg]
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