Vivendi Universal Games has announced a restructuring that will mean the loss of 350 jobs.
Blizzard, VUG’s key games developer, is said to not be affected, which is just as well as the studio’s forthcoming Worlds of Warcraft MMORPG (repeat after me: massively multiplayer online role-playing game) has many gamers in an absolute froth of goblin-smashing anticipation. If WoW doesn’t revive the parent company’s flagging fortunes, then nothing will.
If you think that’s bad, it gets Messier.
The former Vivendi Universal chairman Jean-Marie Messier was arrested on Monday for his part in a massive share buyback scheme. It’s alleged that the company spent at least €1 billion (UK£1.5 billion) propping up its share price in 2001, buying back 21 million shares in September 2001, just 15 days before publishing its financial results.
Messier has been taken into custody in Paris and is expected to cool his heels there for a couple of days before being charged.
Messier’s woes began around the time he was booted out of Vivendi in July 2002 after the billions of euros of acquisitions he made nearly destroyed the company.