Ubisoft bags Far Cry rights

French publisher now sole owner of popular jungle shooter's game engine, intellectual property.

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It's been a big week for the Far Cry franchise. Its publisher, Ubisoft, shipped the two latest installments in the series: the Far Cry Instincts Evolution expansion for the Xbox and Far Cry Instincts Predator for the Xbox 360, which combines both Evolution and the original Far Cry Instincts into a single next-generation game.

There was also some predation of the business kind on the Far Cry front. Ubisoft announced it has secured all rights to the first-person shooter series, which was created by German developer CryTek. Though financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, it covers both the intellectual property itself and "a perpetual license to use the CryENGINE Far Cry Edition." The graphics-intensive CryENGINE is the basis of all Far Cry games, the console versions of which were developed at Ubisoft Montreal.

Today's deal was seen as a preemptive measure to secure the popular license in the wake of CryTek's long-term development deal with megapublisher and Ubisoft-archrival Electronic Arts. The first game to be published under that agreement, the military sci-fi shooter Crysis, recently made waves at the Game Developers' Conference via an impressive PC demo. No release date has been announced for that game.

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