Ubisoft Buys SunFlowers, Germany Celebrates

by: Randy -
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Ubisoft concluded an agreement to acquire the Germany-based SunFlowers, owner of the Anno brand of strategy titles.  (I reviewed 1701 A.D. -- the Americanized title for Anno 1701 -- last December and found it to be a superbly polished, deep, and fun-centered production.)  In the transaction, which will take place during Ubisoft's 2007-08 first quarter, they will gather a 30 percent stake in Related Designs, the Anno 1701 developers.  I know, I know, "owners," "developers," blah blah blah.  Just hope for a strong ad campaign for the next Anno title (which is currently in development).
SAN FRANCISCO – APRIL 11, 2007 – Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest
video game publishers announced that it has concluded an agreement to
acquire SunFlowers, owner of the Anno brand, one of the most successful
strategy games with five million units sold worldwide and one of the
best-selling games in the German market.

"With the acquisition of Anno, Ubisoft reinforces its position in the
real-time strategy market. Anno, along with Ubisoft's The Settlers, is one
of the most well known franchises in Germany, reaching a wide audience that
includes not only traditional gamers, but also women and families. We are
proud to add another top-quality brand to our rich portfolio and we are
looking forward to bringing the brand to an even wider audience," said Yves
Guillemot, president and chief executive officer of Ubisoft.

Through the transaction, Ubisoft will acquire a 30 percent stake in Related
Designs, which developed Anno 1701, the latest entry in the Anno series and
is currently working on a future Anno title.

Mr. Adi Boiko, cofounder of SunFlowers stated "I'm glad to confide Anno to
Ubisoft, a company known for the innovation and creativity of its
development teams. The brand will benefit from Ubisoft's global strength,
allowing new audiences to discover the pleasure of empire building through
new Anno games."

The agreement between the two companies is subject to normal closing
conditions. The acquisition is expected to close in Ubisoft's fiscal year
2007-08 first quarter.
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