VU Games, comprising Blizzard, Sierra, Black Label, Knowledge Adventure and Universal Interactive studios, was expected to sell for as much as $800 million, but the offers so far have not satisfied Vivendi. So the question hanging in the air is, what will become of these studios?
According to sources, the hope now is that one of the six companies bidding on VU Games' sister division, Vivendi Universal Entertainment (made up of Universal Pictures, Universal Studios Home Video, Universal Studios theme parks, Universal Television Group, Canal+ and StudioCanal) will jump in and take VU Games too. Yet just one VUE bidder, Edgar Bronfman Jr. (the billionaire heir to Seagram's), has also expressed interest in VU Games.
With the fate of the company hanging in the balance for almost a year, Luc Vanhal, president of VU Games' North American operations, admitted to Reuters last month that "It would not be true to deny [speculation about the sale of VU Games] is affecting the staff."
Rumors are circulating that Take-Two and Microsoft may be trying to hatch a deal whereby the two companies would purchase VU Games, and then divide the assets among them: Microsoft getting the PC and educational assets, and Take-Two getting everything else. But neither company will go on record about any such plan.