Games Unit Not Included In Vivendi/NBC Deal
9:22 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story
In the latest chapter that is the saga of the Vivendi Universal selloff, Vivendi's Jean-Bernard Levy has comfirmed that the company's games unit has not been sold, and is currently not for sale.
The news, eclipsed by items relating to the election of California's new "Governator", confirmed earlier reports that Vivendi Universal Games was not part of the merger of its Vivendi Universal Entertainment unit with General Electric Co.'s NBC television network.
Rather than sell the company, Vivendi has decided to shift the Games unit's focus to holiday sales, and to gearing up towards the next generation of video game consoles, due out in 2005.
While sources in the industry suggest that Vivendi's inability to offload its gaming division was due to the unit's high price tag, Levy's spin on the facts is kind of poetic:
Obviously we put it up for sale. We went outside, found it was very cold and we decided to close the door and stay back inside. That's where we are today.Sources in the gaming and banking industry have a different take on the story, however, claiming that negotiations for the sale were bogged down when Vivendi refused to budge on the unit's $800 million asking price.
Hopefully the news comes as relief to developers working in the shadow of the crestfallen media monopoly. Reports issued earlier this summer suggested that developers like Warcraft franchise creators Blizzard Entertainment were demoralized by the uncertainty and stress created by the situation. In this reporter's opinion, however, time, and this holiday's sales figures will tell whether or not the Games unit has a long future ahead of it.
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