Ubisoft gets Driver's license

Atari agrees to sell most assets from Reflections to French publisher for $24 million; Ubi eager to get into racing game.

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Cash-strapped Atari dumped one of its properties today, partially making good on its announcement that several of its holdings would be sold off. The rights to the Driver franchise were sold to fellow countrymen Ubisoft for 19 million euros ($24 million). The deal is expected to close during Ubisoft's second fiscal quarter, which ends September 30, 2006.

Also moving from Atari's banner to Ubisoft's are "most of the assets and all of the personnel" of Driver's developer, UK-based Reflections Interactive. Atari will retain the sell-off rights for a three-month period on all the Driver games except for Driver: Parallel Lines, the most recent chapter of the franchise, which it will hold until the end of 2006.

Atari CEO Bruno Bonnell said, "We are focusing the energy of the company on a select number of franchises in order to optimize their impact among consumers and increase shareholder value. In the driving category, we consider Test Drive our key franchise which will require more resources and attention to build it as a landmark of its genre."

Ubisoft was happy to get behind the wheel of Driver. "We are thrilled with this acquisition which will allow us to add a prestigious title to our catalog and to enter into the driving games segment, one of the most important segments in the gaming industry," said Ubi CEO Yves Guillemot.

It appears that Ubisoft is betting the Driver games still have some gas in the tank. Even with mediocre reviews, Driv3r sold well. Unfortunately for Atari, the same held true for the reviews of Driver: Parallel Lines, but not its sales.

Test Drive Unlimited, Atari's new ride, will be released later this year on multiple platforms. A movie based on the Driver franchise is currently being adapted into a film by Roger Avary.

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Avatar image for SAEDSAED
SAEDSAED

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ثنكس لك بس عطنااا ربط التحميل لو عليك امرر

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Avatar image for dillonshuffel
dillonshuffel

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Yea i think also they should remake Driver 1 and Driver 2 Cause i liked it I didn't like the Driver Parallel lines it doesn't have tanner . but i want to know if Tanner actually died In Driver 3 i know he got shot he went to the hospital. They like just ended it right there No more Tanner, Jerico, Jones... They Really need to make a new driver if so like Now were is Pink Lenny From Driver 2 and that one Black guy in driver 2 with the long hair

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Syphon_Filter2

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Th first driver and the second one, were better then the new drivers.

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Turisman4

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I think a Driver 1 and 2 compilation with better graphics and draw distance while keeping the environment design and physics engine would be a game I'd be quickly willing to pay full price for.

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bam29

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Im happy to see ubisoft get the license to the driver series. They are a good company and i hope they make the driver series good again.

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Avatar image for abdullrahman
abdullrahman

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I like Driver games i never missd a game .

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games_pot1

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Good for them

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AliasUK

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I've enjoyed all the Drivers to be honest, even PL. Driv3rs story mode was a bit wank but the free roam is superb. It's just a shame that it isn't as non linear a GTA. I still think Driv3r graphics are very good as well.

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Tungsten88

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Driv3r was pretty good actually (because I hadn't played GTA). I loved the free roam mode and though the glitches were pretty funny, but Driver 4 was the absolute worst game I've ever played.

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ultimate_zero

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cool

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JL990096

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Despite the fact that 187 Ride or Die sucked (a car-combat game developed by Ubi soft), i think driver will not after Ubi-soft took over the driver series (just as soon as they don't get the wrong develop team)

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War-Tex

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2 be honest.....i always wait for driver games and it comes out 2 be.....BOOOGUUUSSS

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trialanderror61

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the original Driver is, was, and ever will be the best. I am proud to say on august 16 2006, 6 years and 2 months after the release date, i still play driver. Driver 2 sucked. they advertised the had CURVED roads. and didnt make it for pc. pc has so much more graphical capability than playstation sigh..

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willripyouanew1

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Hopefully it wont stink as bad as the last Driv3r did

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greatestali

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finally a driver game that would actually be fun to play thanku ubisoft

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ultimate_zero

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Ubisoft makes great games, so I'm guessing that the next driver's gonna be a masterpiece.

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mes258

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The stories of all the driver series were great, too bad atari hasn't got a proper quality team. They still develop Driver in the ATARI 2600 style (or at least in win95 with bizarre min. requirements). I sure hope Ubi will raise the standard, and come up with a great story and stunning looks & gameplay.

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Jrock7

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Atari is getting old. I will always like the company for the first game system, but they don't make good games anymore. Driver was one of the best for the original Playstation, but 3 sucked so much that it made me lose faith. Now that Atari doesn't have it anymore, I'm getting the next game nomatter what happens. Hopefully Ubi gets the series on top again.

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Blazer88

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New Test Drive looks good, Driver was only ok at first and progressively got worse although because 3 sold well it just goes to show once again that thier are some gamers out there with horrible taste. Ubi might be able to fix it, but it is such a crowded genre that like FPS's it pretty much takes something spectacular for someone like me to even give it any thought.

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mariokart64fan

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driver was the best and still is when driver 5 comes on ps3 im getting it

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Avatar image for deactivated-57e5de5e137a4
deactivated-57e5de5e137a4

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Test Drive should do pretty good. It's not a whole lot of tune*and*tweak that is Need For Speed. It's just real cars racing. Should be good.

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Gaara79

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The original driver was great, i hope UBI can make a good next gen game out of the franchise

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TVR_Fan

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I think its good that Ubisoft have the Driver License, now they can finally bring back Driver to its true goodness guys.

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mr_pops238

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Atari sucks and they just lost there best franchise. Fission Mailed. +1 for ubisoft. Lets hope that ubi can actually make a good driver game and not the crap atari made. Test drive sucks, atari is on crack if they think that game is going to save them. The only thing keeping atari alive is the overrated DBZ games, which can only take them so far before people get sick of them.

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Maquis_UK

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Go Ubi !!! and givvus that Wii version eh Ubi..? we're still loving your work...!

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Robinvd

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Ubisoft is good. Right? We'll see ;-)

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fordies

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The driver series needed some new blood pumped into

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DrKill09

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Good to see that Driver is now owned by a somewhat compitent company.

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Avatar image for solidusScott
solidusScott

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OH MY GOD! MAYBE WE WILL FINALLY GET A DRIVER GAME WORTH PLAYING!!!................. or not.

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comthitnuong

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i guess a driver by ubi wont be that bad

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Avatar image for _Sam_
_Sam_

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Hopefully they will do a good job

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sundown70

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ubisoft and EA are getting huge...they are buyin out all of these franchises i don't know if this is good or bad yet, but i do have a bad feeling about gaming companies with a lot of power

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smiley17O

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what a waste of money

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Avatar image for WolfSkill5544
WolfSkill5544

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I believe that Ubisoft will make a great Driver game in the future.

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Ponsardin

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I hope Ubisoft won't frustate the designers from Reflections Interactive like Atari did.

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Leick3

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Hopefully ubisoft can revive the driver series because the last game sucked

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ashuncc2

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Ubisoft makes great games. It will be interesting to see where they take the Driver series.

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decebal

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this will make a good comeback for Driver. Looking forward to it now.

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Sandman100

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Good for Ubisoft. Hopefully they can make Driver a popular franchise again, and bring new life to the series. It also good for Atari because they need money, and right now the Test Drive is a more promising franchise for them, and they believe it has more life than Driver.

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madnesspro

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I hope this pushs driver in the right direction. I also hope they re-release DRIV3R and take out all the glitchs and then release a PC version of Parallel lines.

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Sweendrix

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Atari is stupid. Atari makes outstanding games in genres that nobody seems to want (Mark Ecko's:Getting Up)...and they label their key and most important franchise Test Drive? A game that must compete with an overcrowded and competitive marketplace? If Atari wants to survive, they should create and revive the platformer. Yes, the platformer. It seems like they have almost dropped off of the planet and corporations think that gamers no longer want to play a good platformer.

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John_of_Fire

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This could be a good match. I hope this works out. I always heard Driver games were good but not good enough.

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rynmls

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ubisoft will handle driver? then they must create a brand new game cause driver for the ps2 sucks...

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xSpitFire3x

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Driver is destined for crap... But then again look at the Crystal D did for Tomb Raider...there might be hope after all.

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blazealot420

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Totally agree with you Xidus, alot of people fail to realize the original GTA came out on PC before the first Driver.

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serioustom

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yes this is real good news for driver's fans.

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Drudaddy

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cool a gaming company that know's how to make a good game, hopefully they will bring that franchise back to life. because atari messed it up

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Xidus

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"GTA's basic features exists and are the way they are BECAUSE of Driver 2" how can you even say that the original gta for the computer and even the ones for ps1 had all the features of Driver 2 just werent up to snuff at all for graphical comparison hence the top down view and bad jumping animation. you cant say that driver made all the features in gta possible because they were already there just laying low really...

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Tomtomtom1990

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I love that headline. It works on so many levels.

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dude117

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Finally we'll get a Driver game we like again!! I can stop playing Driver 2!!

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