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20 Things You Didn't Know about Ubisoft

Have you ever heard of a company called Ubisoft? There's a better-than-average chance that you're at least familiar with it. You may not be exactly sure where you've heard the name before or what the company itself is associated with, but somewhere in the back of your mind, you're probably thinking that it sounds very familiar to you. In reality, there's a good reason for this. In all likelihood, you've heard the name mentioned several times in the past or maybe you've even had some type of direct experience with a product that's been produced by the company. If you're still scratching your head a little bit, you can read through the 20 things that are listed below. They will tell you a lot more about this company with an intriguing name.

1. They're into video games

Things are probably coming into focus for you right about now. It's true, this is a company that produces, markets and sells video games. If you play these types of games, then you probably already knew exactly who the company was when you read the first paragraph. Even if you're not really into that sort of thing, you've undoubtedly seen the name attached to several different games when you were walking through a store or you've heard someone else mention something about them in the past. Perhaps you’ve even heard about them on the news.

2. The company is headquartered in France

You might think that France is an odd place for a video game company, as most of the more prolific ones seem to be headquartered somewhere in Asia. Nevertheless, this one has always and continues to be in France. That doesn't mean that they don't have smaller offices all over the place. As a matter of fact, you can usually find an office that's connected to the company in one way or another in practically every country around the globe.

3. They’ve produced some notable titles

In reality, this is a gaming company that has been quite successful with the titles that it's produced. Even if you haven’t played a video game for decades, there's no doubt that you're familiar with at least one of the titles produced by this company, Assassin's Creed. This game garnered so much attention that everyone knew what it was, even if they've never played it. You’ve probably even seen some commercials that ran on television for the game. Of course, this isn't the only title company has produced. They've had several games that were quite successful, but very few people would argue the fact that Assassin's Creed sits at the top of the list.

4. They make a lot of money

Clearly, any company that's able to produce games at the level of Assassin's Creed is going to be making a lot of money. As a matter of fact, they are the fourth richest video game production company in the world, and that's nothing to sneeze at. When you think about how many different companies there are that work in this industry, it's rather amazing when you hear about a company that's capable of cracking the top five when it comes to revenue. This company managed not only to do that, but to end up in the fourth spot on the list. In other words, they're in a position that most companies would give the right arm to be in.

5. The company has been in business since 1986

It's not like the company started making money hand-over-fist in one day. They've been around for a while. Like many of the other more successful gaming companies, they started doing business in the 1980s when video games first became extremely popular. They weathered a lot of challenges over the years, but they've always manage to find a way to stick it out. That is largely why they are as successful as they are today.

6. It was actually founded by members of the same family

The story of how this company came into existence is a rather interesting one. It was actually started by five brothers who decided to operate the business out of the basement of their home for the first several years. All of them enjoyed playing video games and they saw a potential for a real future by creating a company that produced these types of games. Among them, they had different skills, including the ability to create interesting video games and then market them. All of them put their heads together and decided that it would be something worth pursuing. It's a good thing they made that decision, otherwise the video game industry would be without many of the most popular titles that it enjoys today.

7. It only took them a few years to become a global company

It really didn't take them too long to find success. Within just a few years, they were being lauded for many of the games they had produced and they were known around the world as one of the best game companies out there. They worked hard during those early years in order to make a name for themselves and obviously, their hard work paid off.

8. Ten years later, they were being publicly traded

You might think that 10 years sounds like a really long time. In reality, it takes most companies a lot longer than that to find enough success to be publicly traded on the stock market. The fact that they were able to do exactly that in just 10 years stands as a testament to both their hard work and their ability to know what customers were interested in seeing. They’ve only grown from there and even through some major challenges, which will be discussed later, they have found a way to keep experiencing success.

9. They purchased rights to more games in 2001

They had been interested in games like Prince of Persia and Myst for quite some time. In 2001, they made the decision to purchase those titles from The Learning Company, who had previously been the umbrella company that owned them. The idea was to purchase the titles and then market them as their own, with a few tweaks to make the games exactly what they wanted them to be. This is something that they would do again in the future, so this first purchase of someone else's titles marked an important milestone for the company.

10. In 2003, they officially changed their name

Prior to 2003, their name was pronounced the same but it was actually printed in two words, Ubi Soft. It was during this year that they made the decision to go ahead and combine both of those terms into a single word, which became the Ubisoft name that you are so familiar with today. In addition to making a change to the name, they also simplified their logo. The idea was to make things less complicated and more minimalistic without making any major changes that could potentially affect sales in a negative light.

11. In 2004, Electronic Arts attempted a hostile takeover

Electronic Arts is another one of those companies that sits in the top four spots when it comes to revenue. Most people know them as EA and they also realize that they're one of the biggest video game companies out there. In 2004, Electronic Arts saw Ubisoft as competition they didn't really want to deal with. As a result, they made every effort to initiate a hostile takeover by buying up so much stock in the company that they would eventually be able to control it. The idea was to get to the point where they could officially dethrone the five brothers that started the company and then absorb Ubisoft into their own corporation. Obviously, things didn't quite go as planned, because Ubisoft is still very much its own company.

12. They've also purchased games from Atari

For years, Atari had been known almost synonymously with the game called Driver. In 2006, Ubisoft decided it would be a good idea to purchase the rights to the entire Driver franchise from Atari and they did exactly that. Unlike the attempted hostile takeover two years prior by Electronic Arts, Ubisoft simply made Atari an offer for the franchise and once Atari agreed, the Driver franchise became part of the Ubisoft corporation.

13. From 2015 through 2017, Vivendi attempted to take over the company

It didn't take long for another company to attempt a hostile takeover. This time it was Vivendi. This attempts lasted quite a long time, starting in 2015 and continuing for the next two years. Their method was essentially the same as the one used by Electronic Arts. They wanted to purchase so much stock in the company that they would be the ones in charge of deciding what happened so they could officially make it their own. At one point, they controlled as much as 30 percent of the stock in the company, meaning that they weren't too far away from accomplishing their goal. Once again, Ubisoft recognized what was going on and made the necessary movements to counteract what they were doing. Eventually, they reached a deal with Vivendi that allowed them to buy back all of the stock the company had previously purchased. It also guaranteed that Vivendi would not be able to purchase any more stock in the company in the future.

14. Company culture regarding gameplay has changed over the years

When the company first started, they were much more interested in single player games or maybe even a game where one player was pitted against the computer. They didn't see much of a reason to create games that could be played online against hundreds or even thousands of other opponents in cyberspace. It's easy to understand why. When the company got its start, this is something that didn't even really exist for all intents and purposes. Over the years, that culture has definitely changed. As evidenced by Assassin's Creed and other titles, one of their biggest advantages is the fact that gamers have the opportunity to play online against opponents from all over the world, all at the same time.

15. Players even get certain rewards when they're playing games made by the company

Another thing that makes this company quite unique is that players are eligible for certain rewards when they're playing titles made by the company, especially when they engage in online play. These rewards range from anything concerning longer life in a game to the opportunity to play another game free of charge. This is something that keeps gamers interested and it also keeps them coming back for more.

16. Their hardware isn't always compatible with gaming systems

No matter how good a company is, there are always issues to be worked out with something. In this particular case, they've come under a considerable amount of fire because their hardware isn't always compatible with the gaming systems that their games have been designed for. This can cause issues when it comes to playing the games and in some cases it even causes the games to freeze up unexpectedly.

17. Sometimes, installing one of their games can cause everything else to stop working

A potentially more serious problem has been known to occur when gamers attempt to download certain information from a game and then everything else on their gaming console stops working. Again, this is largely due to an issue with compatibility, or more accurately, a lack thereof. That being said, it doesn't make gamers any less irate when it happens.

18. They've been known to offer a free game in exchange for not being sued

At one point, things got so serious with this issue concerning compatibility that the company started offering gamers an opportunity to get a free game in exchange for not being sued, thanks to the fact that their Assassin's Creed game failed to work on almost every gaming console that it was installed in. For some gamers, it was just this game that didn't work but for others, the whole console stopped working and had to be replaced. Ubisoft came up with the idea that they would offer everyone that had been impacted by this issue a free game but in exchange for accepting it, they had to agree not to sue the company.

19. The company does invest back in the community

This is the company that believes in investing back into the community in which it exists. As such, not only the main headquarters, but also other smaller offices, have been involved in various works within the community in order to make the place where they live and work better for everyone.

20. They like to use gaming to reach out to others

As a matter of fact, they frequently use gaming to reach out to those within the communities with which they are involved, in order to ensure that individuals within that particular area have enough to eat, a safe place to sleep at night, and opportunities to improve their lives through education and work opportunities as they grow older.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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