Ubisoft has acquired a 75 per cent controlling stake in mobile developer Kolibri Games for an unspecified sum.
Based in Berlin, the studio – which was previously known as Fluffy Fairy Games – was founded in 2016 and currently employs around 100 staff. It’s most popular title is Idle Miner Tycoon, which has been downloaded by more than 104 million players worldwide since releasing in 2016, reportedly making Kolibri “one of the premier developers of mobile free-to-play games and one of the leaders of the ‘idle’ games genre”.
The acquisition was completed on January 31st, 2020, and the agreement gives Ubisoft the option of “gradually raising its stake” in Kolibri Games to 100 per cent over the next four years.
“We are strengthening our ‘idle’ games portfolio with the acquisition of Kolibri Games, one of the leaders in the segment, whose flagship game Idle Miner Tycoon has grown steadily since 2016,” said Jean-Michel Detoc, executive director of Ubisoft Mobile. “We are delighted that this great talented team, recognised for the longevity of their flagship title, is joining Ubisoft.”
“Ubisoft is a creative powerhouse and one of the strongest brands in the games industry – we are humbled to be invited to join this great family,” added Daniel Stammler, co-CEO and co-founder of Kolibri Games. “This marks a high point in the history of our young company and will enable us to expand our development.”
After a difficult year for the developer/publisher, Ubisoft is reportedly restructuring its “editorial team”, an influential creative crew thought to have a significant influence on the company’s various games, including many of its triple-A franchises.
The developer-publisher announced plans to push back the release of three of its upcoming games – Watch Dogs Legion, Gods & Monsters, and Rainbow Six Quarantine – until the next financial year. The news sent Ubisoft’s stock plummeting.
Initially, the three triple-A games were due to release before the end of March 2020, with both Gods & Monsters and Watch Dogs: Legion securing firm releases dates of February 25th and March 6th, 2020 respectively. Now, all three games have been pushed back to somewhere between April 2020 to March 2021 but instead of being just current-gen games, the titles will also be available on PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X console.
As a result of the delays, Ubisoft confirmed it was lowering its financial targets for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, now expecting net bookings of $1.6 billion. The adjustments are occurring due to the underwhelming launch of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint which released to generally mediocre review scores and “very disappointing” sales, prompting Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot to say “we need to make sure there is more time between each iteration of live games”.