Microsoft in Talks With Vivendi

Reuters lends some credibility to a story reported earlier in the week by Computer and Video Games suggesting that Microsoft might be picking up Vivendi's Games division.  While the original rumor suggested the deal was already sealed and should be announced this week, that was probably an exaggeration.  According to Reuters, Investement bank Investec merely indicates that the two giants are discussing a purchase.

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Here's a clip from the article:

Jeff Van Rhee, Investec's director of enterprise software research, told Reuters he had received indications a deal was in the works. "There was some pretty actionable data that said something had just happened and things were heating up pretty quickly," he said.

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The division, which is strongest in PC games but also has significant console game operations, has been reported at various times in the last year to be either up for sale or in preparations for an initial public offering.

At this point it doesn't look like any huge announcement is impending, but this might be one of those rumors hiding a grain of truth.  All told, I'd be pretty happy to see this deal develop, but there are certainly a thousand hurdles between talks and consumation.

- Elysium

Comments

On the one hand, Microsoft has been an excellent publisher for the games they have, and I think thier QA is pretty good too.

On the other hand, giving Microsoft damn near control of a market is always a bad thing. Always. Also, how will this bode for cross-platform development? SDL, the only viable cross-platform audio library, was written by a Blizzard programmer, who is now paid to maintain it full time. Blizzard is owned by Vivendi. If Microsoft buys Vivendi, will they put a stop to this SDL nonsense? Im not sure if Microsoft is that heavy handed, but that was only meant as an example. Also, it doesn't bode well for game companies trying to get cross-platform support added in the future.