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Ubisoft has created a new division in its company dedicated specifically to adapting its game franchises to movies and TV shows. The newly created Ubisoft Motion Pictures will be based in Paris, France and will be headed by former Europacorp CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet. Walt Disney Studios France executive Jean de Rivieres will be in charge of marketing and promotion, according to Variety.
The major game publisher has shown interest in movie making since at least February 2007, when it first announced plans to open a CGI film studio in Montreal, Canada. Later that year, in August 2007, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explained to an Edinburgh Interactive Festival audience why games and movies should go hand in hand. "We will have to start making movies because if we don't do it, we won't be able to take advantage of the power of the next generation," Guillemot said according to Gamasutra. "In creating movies and games at the same time, we see what we have to improve to make better games as well."
In July 2008, Ubisoft acquired Hybride Technologies, a Montreal-based studio known for its expertise in the creation of visual effects for cinema, television, and advertising. The studio's many projects include the films 300, Sin City, and Avatar. Speaking of Avatar, Ubisoft worked closely with Canadian film director, film producer, and screenwriter James Cameron in developing the game based on the movie. It didn't sell so well, though Guillemot blamed poor release timing.
The Disney-produced movie based on Ubisoft's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was released in May 2010. It had a budget of somewhere between $150 million and $200 million, but it brought in roughly $335 million worldwide, making it the silver screen's top-grossing game adaptation of all time.
Out of all the movie-game attempts made between 2007 and now, Ubisoft probably wants a repeat of the Prince of Persia success. Would you be interested in seeing a movie based on some of Ubisoft's other big game franchises, such as Splinter Cell or Assassin's Creed?
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