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Ubisoft Launching Dedicated Film Studio For Game Adaptations
Ubisoft Launching Dedicated Film Studio For Game Adaptations
May 2, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

Ubisoft has created a new division dedicated to adapting its game franchises for film and TV, according to a report from Variety.

The Paris-based Ubisoft Motion Pictures will be headed by former Europacorp CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet, according to the report, with former Walt Disney Studios France executive Jean de Rivieres heading marketing and promotion.

The major game publisher has shown interest in movie making since at least 2007, when it first announced plans to open a CGI film studio in Montreal.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told an Edinburgh Interactive Festival audience later that year that by "creating movies and games at the same time, we see what we have to improve to make better games as well."

In 2008 the company acquired special effects house Hybride, which did work on movies including 300 and Sin City.

Ubisoft worked closely with movie industry mogul James Cameron in developing the game based on 2009's smash film hit Avatar. That title went on to underperform expectations, an outcome Guillemot chalked up partly to bad release timing.

The 2010 Disney-produced movie based on Ubisoft's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time became the silver screen's top-grossing game adaptation of all time, bringing in roughly $335 million worldwide, according to Variety.

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Tim Carter
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They will have a lot to learn about the movie industry. Creators in films will not tolerate being cogs in a machine, the way they do in games. They are unionized, for one thing. The attachment of a single name talent to a film can get it greenlit. They will find that, in film, the idea of the corporation controlling the talent is much the same as the tail trying to wag the dog - the best film studio heads realize how important talent is.

Yann Suquet
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While the article doesn't state it, it is important to highlight that Ubisoft did not make a dime on Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time. When they bought the franchise from Jordan Mechner (I think it was from him), they did not buy/he wouldn't sell the movie-rights.

Maurício Gomes
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Ubi made some money, because Jordan specifically wanted to license Sands of Time (instead of making a generic Prince of Persia movie based on the first game).

So he paid a bit to Ubi (dunno how much).

Yann Suquet
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Thanks, did not know that.

Harris Javed
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We're going to see what happens. As long as they don't go overboard with budget (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within) and stick to the source material, they should be fine. I could see a lovely Rayman movie for kids as a possibility.