from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ubisoft Entertainment SA

legal form Société Anonyme
ISIN FR0000054470
founding 1986
Seat Montreuil , FranceFranceFrance 
  • Yves Guillemot (President and CEO )
Number of employees 15,985
sales 1.846 billion euros (FY 2018/19)
Branch Entertainment software / video game developer
Website www.ubisoft.com
As of March 31, 2019

Ubisoft development studio in Montreal

Ubisoft Entertainment SA (formerly Ubi Soft ) is a game developer and publisher based in Montreuil , France . With offices in over 20 countries, Ubisoft is one of the largest video game companies in the world.


Ubi Soft logo 1986
Ubisoft logo (2003-2017)

The company was founded in 1986 by the five Guillemot brothers. The Ubisoft Paris studio was also founded in 1986 . Initially, the games from Electronic Arts , Sierra On-Line and MicroProse were distributed in France . The first game released was Zombi in 1986 . At the end of the 1980s, they expanded to include the Federal Republic of Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.

In the early 1990s, they began setting up their own in-house programming studios, which in 1994 led to the establishment of the studio in Montreuil , Île-de-France . In this studio, Michel Ancel developed the later Ubisoft mascot Rayman . Ubisoft went public in 1996 and continued its global expansion with new offices, including in Shanghai and Montreal .

In 2001 they acquired the German development studio Blue Byte , which is known for the Die-Siedler series, and in the following year Red Storm Entertainment , a developer known for its Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six game series , was taken over.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ubisoft increased its involvement in the online market, but this trend has now subsided.

On December 20, 2004, Electronic Arts acquired 19.9% ​​of the shares in Ubisoft. Yves Guillemot, the company's founder, sees this action as an attempt at a hostile takeover. Even though the French government has offered its help, Guillemot sees the takeover as unstoppable, but only wants to sell if there is a good offer.

In 2005, Microïds Canada was bought by Ubisoft and all of its employees. Among other things, they developed Still Life .

Ubisoft bought Atari the rights to the successful video game series Driver for 19 million euros . The driver development studio Reflections Interactive in Newcastle upon Tyne , UK, is now part of Ubisoft, along with all of its employees.

On April 11, 2007 it was announced that Ubisoft would take over the German publisher Sunflowers and thus the rights to the Anno game series and the 30% stake in the developer Related Designs . The acquisition was completed in the first quarter of the 2007/08 financial year.

In 2008, Ubisoft was represented in 28 countries, including development studios in 17 countries. In the 2007/08 financial year, Ubisoft posted revenues of 928 million euros and employed around 5,450 people, around 4,500 of whom were in production. Yves Guillemot has held the position of CEO since 2004. There are development studios u. a. in Montreal , Toronto , Barcelona , Shanghai , North Carolina , Düsseldorf , Sofia , Bucharest ( Ubisoft Romania ), Casablanca , Milan and São Paulo .

In October 2009 Ubisoft bought the French developer Nadeo , who is best known for the racing game series TrackMania and VirtualSkipper .

In January 2010, GameSpy announced that Ubisoft was taking measures to protect its games, and at the same time a catalog of answers to the most important questions about the new online service platform was published. The procedure announced by Yves Guillemot in 2009 relies on a permanent broadband online connection (at least (A) DSL) and will apply from 2010 to every new game on the PC. At the same time, the player must register with Ubisoft free of charge and link his game to the account with which he also has access to the forum and the Uplay network. If the connection is interrupted, the game pauses.

In return, the player does not need a DVD to play, can access his scores online at any time and can install his game as often as he wants. However, critics doubt the system and accuse Ubisoft of excessive harshness. Users with unstable internet connections and residents in rural areas without a broadband connection are not considered. Playing without an internet connection has become completely impossible. In addition, it is doubtful whether protection against copiers is the main reason. In one of its columns , the game magazine GameStar accuses the company of wanting to use digital rights management to catch customers, collect data and prevent second-hand sales. The storing of data like with the game Anno 1404 in the Web service from Amazon . The first games with the new copy protection were, according to Ubisoft Assassin's Creed 2 , The Settlers 7 and Silent Hunter 5 .

At the beginning of March 2010 it was reported that crackers had managed to crack the new DRM protection in just a few hours. At the same time it was announced that numerous customers want to wait for the DRM-free version of the games. In the first days after the Windows versions of Assassin's Creed 2 and Silent Hunter 5 appeared , the DRM servers were attacked using denial of service attacks , according to Ubisoft . According to Ubisoft, this only resulted in isolated impairments. The release group SKID ROW has succeeded in removing the copy protection. In another column, the game magazine GameStar commented on the consequences of Ubisoft's disservice with the comment “For a long time there has not been so much talk among gamers about pirated copies - and positively. [...] Ironically, the most rigid system to date for protection against piracy is proving to be a wind in the sails of pirates. The French are doing the entire industry a disservice. "

Ubisoft logo (since 2017)

In 2011, Ubisoft came under fire in America for the game Call of Juarez: The Cartel . The game is about the ongoing drug war in Mexico. In July 2011 it was announced that Ubisoft had acquired Owlient to expand its portfolio in the area of free-to-play games. In mid-2011, employees at Ubisoft's Paris headquarters exchanged blows with BNP Paribas , which took the form of characters made from sticky notes. The representation of characters like Homer Simpson , Super Mario or objects from Ubisoft games spread all over the city and also gained popularity abroad. Ubisoft itself has displayed one of the largest Post-It graphics across several floors of its corporate headquarters.

The French media group Vivendi has been trying to own as many shares in Ubisoft as possible, mainly since 2016 . Although it is said that they do not want to carry out a full takeover, Ubisoft fears that it will lose its independence. After the Guillemot family in particular tried to expand their shares, Vivendi managed to own 22.92 percent voting shares at the beginning of December.

In 2017 Ubisoft founded Ubisoft Stockholm in Sweden. The new studio is managed by Patrick Bach. He was previously managing director of the EA DICE studio in Stockholm for 15 years and is considered an industry veteran with numerous AAA titles under his leadership. The studio works closely with Massive Entertainment in Malmö; including a game in the Avatar Universe.

On March 21, 2018, it was announced that Vivendi had sold its shares for around 2 billion euros and thus no longer holds any shares in the company. Instead, the Chinese company Tencent , which dominates the Chinese mobile games market, got in for almost 370 million euros and thus holds 5% of Ubisoft. Tencent and Ubisoft have also partnered to expand Ubisoft's reach in the Chinese market.

In October 2018, Ubisoft joined the Blockchain Game Alliance .

In February 2020, Ubisoft bought the German game company Kolibri Games.

After allegations of sexual harassment of female employees became known in the first half of 2020, company boss Yves Guillemot announced in early July 2020 that Ubisoft was separating from several members of the management team and a number of other employees or that they were on leave until the allegations were clarified. These included the Toronto-based Vice President for Editorial, Maxime Beland, who, as announced on July 4, has resigned from his position with immediate effect. Another employee from Toronto had been dismissed. The Vice President Editorial & Creative Services in Paris, Tommy François, was on leave until the allegations were clarified. Guillemot promised the Ubisoft workforce "structural changes" in the company as a result of the affair.


The following are some of the games developed or distributed by Ubisoft:

Some of the popular video game franchises are slated to be filmed under the aegis of Ubisoft , including Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell , Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon , Assassin's Creed (first feature film released in December 2016), Tom Clancy's The Division and Watch Dogs .

Criticism of products and business conduct

In the past, Ubisoft was repeatedly criticized for forcing users to have a permanent online connection, with the help of which the strict copy protection was technically implemented. In September 2012, however, the company announced that it would discontinue this approach in the future. Games like Assassin's Creed III only require a one-time online connection for activation. There are no activation limits as in Anno 2070. However, in order to take full advantage of all the content, the games require an Internet connection.

Furthermore, in January 2015 games that were bought through certain third-party providers ( eBay distributors, G2Play and G2A ) were initially deleted from the Ubisoft game accounts of the Uplay system without giving a reason. According to press reports, these were activation keys that were originally obtained through credit card fraud. Affected players were advised to have the money for the lost games reimbursed from their retailers.

Ubisoft is also often accused of downgrading a large number of games, which previously appeared much more colorful, detailed or high-resolution in trailers , shortly before publication . One of the first games affected is Watch Dogs , which was highly criticized when it was released. The graphic downgrading at Tom Clancy's The Division was also discussed, as The Division was presented much more intensively in the marketing than it is in the final version.

A frequent accusation of the critics of Ubisoft titles is the reuse of gameplay elements: the so-called Ubisoft formula, a scheme-like procedure in game design . Unlocking areas in open-world games and doing repetitive side missions and collecting tasks is described as not very innovative. It runs through numerous game series, some of which only differ in the location. Ubisoft itself justifies the use of established mechanics, since time and cost pressures force the developers not to undertake any daring experiments, but they are well aware of the problem internally.

Web links

Commons : Ubisoft  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b 2019 Registration Document and Annual Report. (PDF; 4.1 MB) Ubisoft Entertainment, 2019, p. 308 , accessed on March 6, 2020 (English).
  2. heise online: Ubisoft takes over Atari's "Driver". July 14, 2006, accessed January 24, 2020 .
  3. ^ Announcement by Ubisoft dated April 11, 2007
  4. UBISOFT At a glance ( English January) 2009. Retrieved on 7 February, 2009.
  5. Jump up Ubisoft Launches Anti-Piracy Countermeasures , Gamespy.com, accessed February 20, 2010
  6. Zeit.de: If you want to play, you have to be online. Retrieved October 17, 2016 .
  7. PC-Luchs: The Ubisoft PC-Luchs.de case of May 15, 2010, accessed on January 4, 2013
  8. Gamestar.de customer Idiot , accessed on February 20, 2010
  9. Gamestar 4/2010, p. 21
  10. PC Games 3/2010, p. 14
  11. Ubisoft's Uber DRM Cracked Within a Day, in Torrentfreak.com on March 4, 2010 (accessed March 5, 2010)
  12. Ubisoft: Update: Another attack on the DRM server. In: www.gameswelt.de. March 8, 2010, accessed January 24, 2020 .
  13. Ubisoft: New DRM system cracked - crackers mock the publisher - PCG top article April 2010
  14. Ubisoft's disservice - Why the Game Launcher promotes pirated content. In: www.gamestar.de. March 9, 2010, accessed January 24, 2020 .
  15. ^ The Associated Press: Game Set on Mexican Border Draws Ire . In: The New York Times . February 20, 2011, ISSN  0362-4331 ( nytimes.com [accessed January 24, 2020]).
  16. The official press releases from Ubisoft | Forums - Page 55 August 11, 2007, accessed January 24, 2020 .
  17. Ubisoft breaks the war on sticky notes ( memento April 25, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on September 12, 2011
  18. Ubisoft - Vivendi buys additional voting shares. In: ps4info.de. Retrieved December 9, 2016 .
  19. News: Ubisoft Expands Nordic Presence, Patrick Bach to Lead Stockholm Studio. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on December 26, 2017 ; accessed on December 26, 2017 (English). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / news.ubisoft.com
  20. Reuters Editorial: Vivendi selling Ubisoft stake for $ 2.45 billion, ends battle for ... In: UK ( reuters.com [accessed June 3, 2018]).
  21. Video Game Giant Ubisoft Joins Blockchain Game Alliance. October 4, 2018, Retrieved December 15, 2019 (American English).
  22. Gameswirtschaft: Kolibri Games: Ubisoft buys Berlin's “Idle Miner Tycoon” studio. In: GamesWirtschaft.de. February 3, 2020, accessed February 3, 2020 .
  23. Daniel Herbig: MeToo Movement: Ubisoft puts two managers on leave. In: heise.de . June 29, 2020, accessed July 5, 2020 .
  24. Des sanctions chez Ubisoft après les accusations de harcèlement sexuel. In: 20minutes.fr . July 4, 2020, accessed on July 5, 2020 (French).
  25. Gallic vidgamer Ubisoft lines up 3 features . In: Variety , May 15, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  26. Thomas Freund: Ubisoft: PC games now without permanent online compulsion. In: netzwelt. September 5, 2012, accessed September 6, 2012 .
  27. Benjamin Schmädig: Far Cry 4: Disappeared from some players' Uplay account. In: 4Players . 4Players GmbH , January 26, 2015, accessed on January 27, 2015 .
  28. Video: Ubisoft downgrades. In: www.youtube.com. June 4, 2016, accessed January 24, 2020 .
  29. Ubisoft - Ubisoft declares its lack of innovation - "As if you wanted to quit smoking" , Daniel Feith, October 27, 2014