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Ubisoft confirms founding of Ubisoft Motion Pictures

By David Jenkins

Tue 03 May 2011 10:50am GMT / 6:50am EDT / 3:50am PDT

Paris-based division snags top industry talent, but no projects announced

Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell publisher Ubisoft has created a new film and television division in France, although it has not yet revealed its first project.

According to Variety, the division is based in Paris and will be headed by Jean-Julien Baronnet, former CEO of Luc Besson's EuropaCorp. Gainsbourg co-producer Didier Lupfer is head of production and development, and former Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures France distribution chief Jean de Rivieres is head of marketing and international sales.

So far Ubisoft has not made any official announcements in English, confirming only the division's existence and that no projects have been announced.

Like most publishers, Ubisoft has had its forays into Hollywood, including Uwe Boll's Far Cry, but most notably 2010's Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time. Although the film grossed around $335 million worldwide it was seen by the industry as a flop and did not fulfil producer Jerry Bruckheimer's prediction to become the "next Pirates of the Caribbean".

Ubisoft has long harboured ambitions of creating its own productions though, with CEO Yves Guillemot speaking in 2008 of his vision of turning the company into a fully-fledge multimedia entertainment business.

To this end Ubisoft's Quebec studio has increasingly focused on its animation and CGI business. In 2008 Ubisoft also acquired Canadian special effects house Hybride Technologies, noted for their work on films such as Spy Kids, Sin City and 300.

Although no television or movie projects have yet resulted from the company's investments, it has seen considerable success with its mix of live action and CGI promotions for the Assassin's Creed series.

The first episode in Hybride's Lineage short series became the most viewed video on YouTube on the day of its launch, whilst the company also saw similar success with other shorts based on the franchise.

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John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
In a way I think this is a good move, but its risky as well.

Hollywood has never really done justice to video game based movies so maybe having the company behind the games do the movies we might see somthing special.

Good luck to all involved in the venture, I hope it works for you.

Posted:5 years ago

In any regard, one can always trust to the French/japanese to do cool artsy flicks. So whatever the outcome, it will be lavishly stylish

Posted:5 years ago


Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

962 187 0.2
It'll be interesting to see how this will turn out.

Posted:5 years ago


Nicola Searle Senior Knowledge Exchange Associate, University of Abertay Dundee

24 0 0.0
Very interesting business move. As Hollywood shys away from original content, Ubisoft may be filling the gap between sequels/formulaic movies and indie movies. Watch this space!

Posted:5 years ago


Markus Ambrus Art Director

2 0 0.0
I would not expect Ubisoft to reinvent the movie business.

Posted:5 years ago


Andreas Kannegiesser Project Manager, Enzyme Testing Labs

8 0 0.0
This could be interesting, as long as they keep Dr Boll out ...

Posted:5 years ago


Rob Craig Instructor / Writer

21 5 0.2
I too think this is a risky endeavor. There are some moderate motion picture industry names mentioned. Recent history has shown that stacking the right people that understand how to make high grossing movies is key to making money in that form of media. So ... will this group produce non-UbiSoft game themed films? If you were selling the rights to make, for example BioShock "The Movie", would you trust a UbiSoft company? Doubtful.

Posted:5 years ago


Timothy Webb Technical Designer, Avatar Reality Inc.

3 0 0.0
This is great news. Ubisoft just recently finished paying off Tom Clancy for the royalty free rights to his name so if we're ever going to see another Jack Ryan movie this is where it will come from. I'd expect an announcement for either Rainbow 6 or (hopefully) Without Remorse to reboot the Ryanverse movies. As a budding studio it's a great position to be in.

Posted:5 years ago


Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer

259 12 0.0
Video games and movies are very two different media despite that both involve story telling. Video game is interactive experience despite all the cutscenes for narrative while movies are pure unilateral experience from the films. As a screenwriter and a video game reviewer I do strongly think that they have to take these elements into consideration to find a way that story telling plays homage to gamers' experience with the games while telling an engaging story.

Prince of Persia did well in playing homage to the game but fell shot in telling a formulaic story that does not really engage audience to a point that they want more.

Posted:5 years ago


Paul Gheran Scrum Master

123 28 0.2
This is a good idea. Ubisoft seems to really want to make movies and not games. Just check out the tedious and boring Assassin's Creed series. Yawn. Wake me up when the cutscenes finish so I can play the 30 seconds of game mechanics they included for some reason.

Posted:5 years ago


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