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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 GamesIndustry.biz 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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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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