Ubisoft may have picked up Driver studio Reflections Interactive from a floundering Atari in 2006, but the studio has yet to deliver a game to augment the publisher's sparse racing portfolio. Today, Ubisoft made one more move at establishing a firmer hold in the racing genre, announcing it has acquired fellow French company Nadeo. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Founded in 2000 and based in Paris, Nadeo is best known for its racing franchise TrackMania. The most recent installment in the series, TrackMania United Forever, introduced new arcade-style racing environments and cobbled together all previously released tracks. According to Ubisoft, the game enjoys 700,000 unique players each month, with nearly 15 million custom tracks uploaded since 2008.
Last month, Nadeo announced TrackMania 2 as part of the Paris Game Festival. Online reports from the event indicate that the game is expected to be available in 2010 for the PC. A Wii version of TrackMania is also in development. According to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, the acquisition was part of the publisher's desire to grow in the online space.
"Through Nadeo, Ubisoft will gain an expert team, one of the best online technologies around as well as a flagship multiplayer game that enjoys an unrivalled reputation among a loyal and committed community," Guillemot said. "We are excited about the idea of introducing TrackMania to an ever-wider audience and sharing the expertise of Nadeo's teams with our company's other developers."
For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of TrackMania.