Tiger Vijay to Battle in Video Game Market

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Ubisoft Entertainment SA said Monday it plans to start developing sports video games, a genre dominated by rival game publisher Electronic Arts Inc.
 
In an effort to target Electronic Arts' Tiger Woods titles, Ubisoft has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Vijay Singh, the world's No. 1 ranked golfer, to produce a golf game titled after him.
 
The French video game maker also said it has acquired the sports game assets from Microsoft Game Studios, including the technology behind Microsoft's hockey, football, basketball and baseball titles.
 
The company's upcoming entrance into the sports game market was in the works well before its larger rival became a major shareholder, Ubisoft spokeswoman Jaime Borasi said.
 
Redwood City-based Electronic Arts, the world's largest video game publisher, bought an almost 20 percent stake in Ubisoft in December, fueling speculation of an acquisition.
 
Ubisoft officials say they intend to keep their options open for now -- from adopting a strategy to fend off a possible hostile takeover to holding discussions with investors, including Electronic Arts.
 
Meanwhile, 'there is still room for innovation in the sports genre and Ubisoft has some great ideas that we're looking forward to implementing,' said Yves Guillemot, president and chief executive officer of Ubisoft.
 
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