Ubisoft expects less risk from TV and movie production

Pre-selling projects and creating assets for multiple media will help maximise budgets, says CEO

Assassin's Creed publisher Ubisoft has told that it's investing in movie and TV production because it sees it as a less risky business than video game development, and it can help maximise expensive assets created for AAA console games.

Ambitions to move into multimedia entertainment kicked off three years ago, but the publisher has only this May officially establishing Ubisoft Motion Pictures in France.

"The TV business is an interesting business because everything is pre-sold before you start creating the project, so it's not that risky," said Guillemot in an interview published today.

You can quickly get the talent, the financing, it's a way to expand your brand without taking too much risk

Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft

"Because its an industry where you can recruit people for a short time to come to you to help, you can quickly get the talent, the financing, it's a way to expand your brand without taking too much risk.

"It gives you the possibility to reuse the content for your games, so its really complementary to the games. And if you can have 20 per cent or 30 per cent of your content that is created for the TV series that you can reuse in your game it's a way to reduce the cost of the game or to do a better game," he added.

Creative talent bleeds well across games and movies, according to Guillemot, with lots of synergy between movie production and high-end console and PC development.

"We think that it's so easy to do, that it would be a shame not to try. The other thing which is important also is that when we do those movies or TV series, we take talent from that industry who are helping us to do a better job for the games.

"Really at the end of the day our goal is to make sure that we have better games with bigger worlds and universes and so on, and that we use all the many people around to achieve that goal."

"And what's really happening is the machines will be so powerful, are already so powerful, and will continue to evolve, so that we will be able to do linear content for a cost that is very low. So why not take that opportunity?"

The full interview with Yves Guillemot, where he also discusses working closely with Nintendo on the Wii U, can be read here.

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Latest comments (4)

Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer 6 years ago
Great. But the film and TV industry runs according to a very different business model than the game industry. It is project-based, which means that above-the-live creative talent (consisting of producers, actors, directors, writers) is going to demand - and expect - a much larger cut, and will not work as full-time employees for a studio. And they are unionized, so you will need to play ball with them. That's just the price of admission to film/tv.
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Julian Cram Producer 6 years ago
I think we are all agree the current games publishing system simply sucks, but instead of branching out and risking the dilution of your brands by making shitty TV shows and movies, why not change the way they publish and finance videogames?
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Norman Tajudin Operations & Strategy 6 years ago
"We think that it's so easy to do, that it would be a shame not to try." Sounds like a corporate boondoggle to me. I wonder who is advising the executive team and how much success he/she has had in actual motion picture and/or television content creation and distribution. Coming from the studio side, I can say first hand that it's far from easy to create meaningful content that can get distribution and drive dollars to the bottom line. Sure it's easy to take your gaming content/story lines and create motion picture and TV products. Attracting eyeballs and generating revenue from it is another story. Good luck with that.
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Chad Hogan Freelance 6 years ago
I went to school for TV, and let me say I would not demand anything. To get a job at Ubi Soft would be amazing, and the industry is so low demand/high graduate rate that the market is tough.

And I think a lot of people's eyeballs would tune in to an Assasin's Creed TV show or Splinter Cell prime time drama series.
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