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Vivendi bought by Microsoft?


If insider speculation is to be believed, Microsoft has bought US publisher Vivendi, with an announcement due soon. Imagine the effects of that, if it’s true:

Half-Life 2, Warcraft, Counter-Strike, Crash, Spyro, Lord of the Rings… Vivendi has an enormous portfolio boasting some of the best titles on all formats, and it would be an ultra-smart move on Microsoft’s part to snap them up.

Such a buyout, of course, would come at a terrifically high price, making the 365 million acquisition of Rare look like peanuts. But if anyone has that much money, it’s Microsoft.

Rumours regarding potential buyout targets for Microsoft are nothing new, of course, and have been spreading for months, with the likes of Sega and Capcom both mentioned in dispatches. However, talk of the Microsoft/Vivendi deal seems far more serious, with one insider suggesting the buyout could be confirmed as early as Friday.

Furthermore, an email from Universal was accidentally sent out to developers last week stating that all work on GBA titles should be suspended. The email was promptly recalled and branded an error, but could it be that this was in some way tied in with this alleged deal?

If the rumours prove true, this will be a huge boost for Microsoft’s soaring Xbox console, providing it with a broad spectrum of big-name games that would either appear as Xbox lead or as Xbox exclusives outright.
We’ll keep you posted on all developments.

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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