Witcher 3 Developer Discusses Hostile Takeover Prevention
CD Projekt Red releases a statement pushing back against rumors that the company has received a hostile takeover bid, saying its Nov. 29 shareholders meeting is only precautionary.
The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt Red announced earlier this week that it’s holding a meeting for its shareholders on November 29 in order to vote on measures that would protect the company from a hostile takeover attempt. This raised some eyebrows across the industry, with some thinking that perhaps a major corporation was already gunning for the developer, much in the same way that Vivendi has its sights on Ubisoft.
But on Thursday, a CD Projekt Red spokesperson told Gamespot that this move is not a direct response to any recent event and that the developer just wants to be prepared in case anything happens in the future.
“As for the rumor, it emerged after the [board of directors] suggested introducing a voting cap during the upcoming shareholder meeting. However, the proposal is not a reaction to any current events affecting CD Projekt. Rather, it is meant as insurance against future hypothetical scenarios which may never materialize. We wish to safeguard the interests of minority shareholders in a hypothetical case where a major shareholder emerges professing a business and strategic vision which conflicts with ours.”
There’s a lot to unpack in CD Projekt’s statement. First, as Gamespot notes, this isn’t the first time there have been rumors about a bigger company buying out the developer of The Witcher. In September 2015, there were reports that the studio was in talks with Electronic Arts about a buyout, but CD Projekt Red later denied this, saying it valued being independent.
Second, if we’re going to speculate on the timing of the November 29 meeting, we first have to return to Vivendi and Ubisoft. Vivendi has been buying up Ubisoft stock for about a year now, and it’s pretty clear to observers that Vivendi wants control of the Assassin’s Creed developer. Ubisoft survived a shareholders meeting this past September and Ubisoft’s founders have taken steps to increase their own share in the company in order to stave off a hostile takeover. But it’s also pretty clear that Vivendi isn’t giving up just yet. Vivendi purchased more Ubisoft shares earlier this week and now owns 24 percent of the company.
With Vivendi’s latest stock purchase and the announcement of the November 29 CD Projekt Red shareholders meeting coming in the same week, it would appear at least on paper that maybe the independent developer has been spooked by Vivendi’s continued aggression towards Ubisoft and wants to take steps to ensure that another company doesn’t do the same to them. But again, to be clear, we’re just speculating here.
Regardless of what happens, the developer’s fans will still have some upcoming games to look forward to. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game recently entered its closed beta with a full release presumably coming sometime in 2017. The studio’s next AAA title, Cyberpunk 2077, is currently in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC and already has a bigger dev team than what the studio had in place for The Witcher 3.