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Ubisoft exec says Vivendi takeover could damage culture of innovation

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“If you separate us from our independence ... it wouldn’t be the same”

THE DIVISION

Ubisoft's VP of live operations, Anne Blondel-Jouin, has spoken out about Vivendi's ongoing attempts to take over publishing and development power-house Ubisoft.

In an interview with PCGamesN, the 20-year company veteran said that Ubisoft's culture and success derives from its independence. "If you separate us from our independence, if you take away the way we like taking risk and inventing new stuff, well it’s not going to be the same Ubisoft, " she said. "For me, it wouldn’t be the same."

Vivendi has been slowly amassing shares in Ubisoft for years, following a corporate strategy of aggressively taking over attractive companies in growth markets. At Ubisoft's annual meeting in September, the game company's management avoided an attempt by Vivendi to place it supporters on the board. Ubisoft is best known for games and series like The Division (pictured), Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs.

Earlier this month, CEO Yves Guillemot told shareholders and the media that he is looking at ways to keep control of the company away from Vivendi. He also told the Wall Street Journal that "the creeping control strategy implemented by Vivendi is dangerous. We think that there’s a great risk of shareholders losing value.”

According to Blondel-Jouin, Ubisoft could lose some of its vigor if Vivendi succeeds. "What made us so successful for 30 years is being super independent, being very autonomous,” she said. “Sometimes we take a lot of risks … This is what we want to remain, it’s what has made us successful and been able to deliver the type of games we’ve been delivering."