Ubisoft opening animated-movie studio

[UPDATE] The Canadian government will give the French publisher $8 million dollars to make computer-generated films "for the general public."

Last month, Ubisoft reported solid earnings for the October to December 2006 quarter. And although the French publisher is already flush with cash, it is about to receive a sizable chunk of free money.

Today's issue of the Quebecois broadsheet La Presse reports that tomorrow, the Canadian government will announce it is giving Ubisoft's Montreal-based subsidiary C$8 million (around $6.8 million). The payment is part of an ongoing grant program that will see Ubisoft receive C$454 million (approximately $383.9 million) from Ottawa to create 1,000 jobs in Quebec, Canada's large, predominantly French-speaking province.

But while Ubisoft getting government handouts is nothing new--the company got $4.3 million to open a game-development "university" in 2005--the reason for the forthcoming grant reportedly is. La Presse says the money is to "permit the creation of a computer-animation studio in Montreal." The paper notes that studio would be the first of its kind in the city's history and would initially make "short films for the general public."

The newspaper said the grant announcement will be made tomorrow by Canada's labor minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn and Montreal's mayor, Gerald Tremblay. Ubisoft chairman and CEO Yves Guillemot will be in attendance, as will Ubisoft Montreal head Yannis Mallat.

[UPDATE] Early Friday morning, Ubisoft confirmed the grant from Ottawa. The company will indeed "create a new CGI movie production house within its Montreal studio and it will significantly expand its video game development operations in the region."

Written By

Discussion

128 comments
MamaLuigiBarrel
MamaLuigiBarrel

NOW THERE IS NOTHING STOPPING THEM FROM MAKING A RAYMAN MOVIE.

bozco-mkd
bozco-mkd

this is awsome news these guys deserve their props.............salute to UBISOFT!!!!!

PuffstaJones
PuffstaJones

I'm happy. I live in montreal and because of all these job opening I'm actually thinking of studying graphic design.

Tylendal
Tylendal

"Finally! My government is actually sponsoring something with potential! Serious, too. They spent over C$5 million on a study entitled "What makes people fat." Useless." Knowing our government, that is certainly believable. As much as I'm annoyed with Québec, I hope it won't go, and I'm glad new markets are opening up.

Frags-o-Plenty
Frags-o-Plenty

Finally! My government is actually sponsoring something with potential! Serious, too. They spent over C$5 million on a study entitled "What makes people fat." Useless.

stealth89
stealth89

short films? why not full length films? i think the splinter cell movie should be completely CGI...

roan23
roan23

just hope the movie is good

Splintersixcell
Splintersixcell

don't care much. but i get a feeling they want to fight money with ea

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

I hope that those "short films" will be as good as those made by Pixar.

anarchicgoth
anarchicgoth

this should be cool- i usually like Ubisoft games

tk1080
tk1080

notice how it says "Short films", so i doubt that we will get any full length blockbuster films based on our fav games for a while at least.

tdmtrilogy
tdmtrilogy

Seriously, i dont really care about it. Ubisoft Montreal Studios have never renewed my contract (I was a fonctionnalities tester). I was supposed to be renewed in may 2006. The worse thing is... they did not sent my copy of Farcry Predator. When someone from Ubisoft is working on a videogame project, he's supposed to receive the game at the end.

AuthenticM
AuthenticM

I hope they don't go through the same difficulties as Square.

nemes1s3000
nemes1s3000

I wish the house of commons would give me $8 million.

Behlazur
Behlazur

Just a little correction: The 454 million$ come from Ubisoft, not the government, and the 8 million$ isn't given, it's a loan... But that's great news nonetheless...

GANGSTA287
GANGSTA287

OMG!!!!!!!!!! Could this mean Tom Clancy movies!?!?!?!? Red Storm Rising, Executive Orders, Rainbow Six, Some totally original WW3 film regarding the nuclear apocalyspe Iran is planning!?!?!?!? Ubisoft is already keeping my 360 warm, and despite the fact they're canadian, i hope they continue to dominate!

Store218
Store218

Finally, maybe they'll make 'R' rated CG movies. Maybe super hero movies will finally start being as cool as they sound.

AvIdGaMeR444
AvIdGaMeR444

Maybe Ubisoft is using the money from sloppy Wii ports for this studio...

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

"General public"? Soooo, no Rayman? :(

yboucher
yboucher

HAHA ......383 million dollar grant to an already well established __extraordinarily profitable__ company...... Check your numbers, bud. I'm not even sure Ubi turned out an operating profit last year................

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

Prince of persia movie? hmmm... as long as this doesn't turn out like Square which has amazing animation but crappy storylines...

DJ-PRIME90
DJ-PRIME90

RE: Cloud737: The government is doing it to create the jobs:lol: Ubisoft also needs the money to help expand.

chadstew
chadstew

HAHA ......383 million dollar grant to an already well established extraordinarily profitable company...... HAHAHAHAHA I guess its not as bad as my tax dollars paying for a war in iraq.....

dragonsama
dragonsama

I hope this means a movie for the Rabbids.

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

Re SpeedNut_CV: EA is worst and the majority knows it.

sugreev2005-06
sugreev2005-06

Of course the first movie from Ubisoft would be Rayman,since splinter cell should be live-action.

Slash_out
Slash_out

I love Ubisoft's game (i am especially waiting for Assassin's creed :p). So go boy! go !

SpeedNut_CV
SpeedNut_CV

I wonder if they'll fix the character models on their screen from falling through gaps in the textures... LMAO. They can't QA games properly, what faith does anyone have that the quality of their CG movie studio would be anything higher than what you would find at the local trash dump.

Cloud737
Cloud737

Wait...the Canadian government is giving free money to Ubisoft to create a movie studio that will bring it even more money? That`s it, I`m moving to Canada! :D

Scammeleon
Scammeleon

Rayman the Movie? (please Ubisoft!)

Arch_Demonz
Arch_Demonz

but their movies will not run on newer tv's still waiting on my ss:da fix ubi, 1 thing at a time

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

Re Spartan4001: They're already in a pre-production for a live-action movie of Splinter Cell for 2010 & Prince of Persia for 2008. Check IMDb.

yboucher
yboucher

ReconHunter : that game is played in all industries, in all countries. That's just how it works... what do you think tips the balance as to where a company will establish a new office, studio, or factory in a developed country? Grants and loans. I mean, if you wanna talk about that, I can tell you that the oil industry in Alberta is one of the most heavily subsidized industries in all of Canada. Do you really think THEY need it ?? I'm pretty sure Ubi needs that more than Esso... As for Ubi's cutscenes being not that great, it's true. But 90% of them are outsourced, too.

mik_evil
mik_evil

So is Jack Carver going to be killing mercenaries on my TV?

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

This is going to be awesome. I mean the cinamatics of Prince of Persia series showed what Ubi is capable off.

ReconHunter
ReconHunter

I'm not saying governements should not help companies. I'm saying they should use that money to help companies who really need the money. It might be wiser to help businesses in certain key areas that do need the cash. I don't recall Ubisoft being in need of federal money. The investment isn't totally bad, but it's certainly not the best. I mean 1000 jobs is good, but disloyal towards the economy of other countries. I am certain Ubisoft could have afforded the whole cost of the project if they wanted to do it. Right now, in Canada, companies constantly keep asking for government founds just for the extra cash. There are going to be elections very soon and the Conservatives do need the extra votes in Quebec. I'm just not into the pre-elections handouts thing, I guess.

Timstuff
Timstuff

Ubi's cutscenes aren't actually that good. Oddly though, ths deal doesn't seem to surprise me that much.

radiostyle
radiostyle

Here is another Square soft! Ubisoft is one of the biggest publisher and developer in the world but they lost all money because of this studio. Maybe EA is gonna eat it. :D (somebody told me EA means Eat All)

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

yboucher , I think that his point had more to do with the fact that the West (Ok mainly Alberta) is drawing everyone out of the East, causing a bit of housing crisis in terms of cost in the larger cities along the way. Ottawas' investment in putting 1000 more jobs in Montreal was seen as adding a kind of counter balance to Albertas massive pull. Of course I could be reading into it the wrong way but I think Blacklices' point went beyond employment by video game companies.

yboucher
yboucher

Blacklice, are you freaking kidding ?? Ubi's largest creation studio by far is the one in Montreal !! They're the ones who created and handle the Prince of Persia and Splinter Cell franchises, among others, not to mention the upcoming Assassin's Creed !! Video game development employs easily more than 3,000 people already in Quebec, so we are totally BLOWING AWAY Western Canada in terms of that market ! BioWare and Relic are fairly small independent studios. Meanwhile Montreal has both the largest Ubi studio, and one of the largest EA studios. Please check your facts, come on.

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

Come on BG&E movie! Now for the money, they are getting almost $500 million to create 1000 jobs in Quebec? Please tell me it wasn't the Harper government that signed off on this one.... although Blacklice does have point.

ElectrolightSH
ElectrolightSH

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Blacklice
Blacklice

Its great Ottawa is trying to employ the people in the East they need it. It shouldn't be that everyone in Canada lives in Calgary or Edmonton. Housing is already way to high in Alberta. We in the West have Relic and Bioware need ssomething in the East, balance the scale out.

Spartan4001
Spartan4001

God, if they ever turn to making movies for profit and waste Splinter Cell on an animated movie instead of a live action feature, I'm gonna be

TryMe01
TryMe01

maybe they should forget the whole thing and concentrate on making quality games instead of the crap that the wii got