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Guillemot to transform Ubisoft with movie, TV and sports projects

Mon 02 Jun 2008 7:32am GMT / 3:32am EDT / 12:32am PDT
Publishing

Ubisoft boss wants CGI studio on a par with Peter Jackson's Weta group, publisher to create more sports titles, TV show based on game brands in early production

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has detailed his future vision for the company, as he transforms the French outfit from a videogames publisher into a multimedia entertainment business.

Speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz at last week's Ubidays event in Paris, Guillemot revealed ambitious plans to place Ubisoft at the centre of CGI movie production, as well as branching out to new game genres and TV productions.

Ubisoft's Quebec studio is ramping up its animation and CGI business and will also be central to the company's recently announced entry into 3D videogames.

"Our goal is to create a studio that will be very high quality, our goal is to try to get to the level of quality of Peter Jackson's Weta studio," offered Guillemot, in an interview published today.

The CEO said that initially Ubisoft will focus on animation rather than full-blown movie production, with film production running alongside games development and simultaneous release dates.

"We don't need to be always making the movie but what we have to do is make sure that what's necessary for our games is done close to us so we can reuse assets. Or we can have a specific relationship with a director who is going to do 3D imaging in such a way that we can also use them in our games," he added.

"The goal is to produce the images, the animations, to work on defining scenarios, because that's what we need in our games.

"For the rest, we will start by working with external companies that are interested and know this business, but we will make sure that movies are coming out at the same time as our games, as our books and other ancillary products," said Guillemot.

Other products include Ubisoft's entry into the TV market, with Guillemot confirming to GamesIndustry.biz that a TV series based on one of the publisher's brands is already in early production.

But the publisher isn't just looking at expansion outside of the videogame business, and with its recent announcement of Shaun White Snowboarding for next-generation home consoles, the publisher is already eyeing up future sports titles.

"It's a big part of the business so really the goal there is if we want to expand we have to get into sports as well," revealed Guillemot.

"We bought Driver to be able to go into the racing business and we're starting with Shaun White in sports. For sure, we're trying to get more into the sports business. As we know there are already good competitors there so we have to come with something that is new," he said.

The full interview with Guillemot, where he also discusses 3D games development and the return of the Beyond Good & Evil brand, can be read here.

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