Back in 2011, Ubisoft created a new subsidiary company called Ubisoft Motion Pictures. No prizes for guessing what they do, but in case you need spoon-feeding, they’re the department responsible for turning Ubisoft franchises into movies and series shorts. Think along the lines of those Assassin’s Creed: Lineage episodes that hit the Internet in 2009.
During Sony’s Gamescom press conference, which was held in Cologne last night, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot got on stage to announce that Ubisoft, in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment and New Regency Films, will be bringing out a feature-length film based on Watch_Dogs. The game isn’t even out yet, but that’s not stopping Ubisoft from ensuring they’ve covered all the transmedia bases.
“Since both Sony and Ubisoft have movie and video game branches,” said Jean-Julien Baronnet, CEO of Ubisoft Motion Pictures, “this deal creates exceptional opportunities for us to merge the realms of the story-based cinematic experience with the interaction of the video game… Together, we’re confident we can deliver a movie that builds upon the excitement that the game is already generating.”
The president of production at Columbia Pictures, Hannah Minghella, had this to say about the project: “The game has intense action and adventure, but the story focuses on information and the control of information, which we think will lead to an exciting thriller. It has tremendous potential as a motion picture and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Ubisoft’s internal creative team on the development of the project.”
Obviously this film is in the very early stages of development. This is now the fourth film based on a Ubisoft franchise to be announced. Films on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed have all been confirmed by Ubisoft. In addition to these four films, Ubisoft is working on an animated TV series based on the Rabbids franchise. We’re going to be up to our tits in Ubisoft media within the next few years.