Ubisoft Says Its Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs, Far Cry Movies Won't Be Terrible
CEO Yves Guillemot says it's all about having creative control, and the company has that.
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Video game movies, despite often making a lot of money, do not have a great track record from a critical standpoint. One video game company that is pushing hard in the movie space is Ubisoft, which is currently making a total of six movies based on its popular franchises like Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs, and Far Cry. These movies stand to buck the trend of lackluster critical reception, CEO Yves Guillemot says, because Ubisoft has creative control.
"The best way to [make sure a video game movie doesn't fall flat] is to make sure you control what is important in movie creation," Guillemot told the Ubisoft Blog. "It's the scenario and the cast and the director. And if you are capable of negotiating with those guys in the movie production studios, making sure they are on the same page as you, that they understand the IP-- what is strong, what makes it interesting for the gamers--then you can create something that will match people's expectations."
For this reason, Ubisoft created an internal division--Ubisoft Motion Pictures--dedicated exclusively to making movies and TV shows based off its brands. Ubisoft's deal with film company New Regency for the Assassin's Creed movie gives the game maker control of "key elements" of the film's creative direction.
Guillemot went on to say that making video game movies that resonate with gamers is beneficial to players in the long run, because they can brings in more money that Ubisoft can then invest into game development. "Ancillary products such as movies are another source of revenue to keep building strong and rich brands," he said.
In addition, Guillemot said he expects that content created for Ubisoft's video game movies can also be used in new games. "For example, if you do a movie and you have lots of special effects, lots of creations of worlds and characters, you can pick that up and put that in your game. So, the games become richer, more alive, and more cinematic," he said.
It's important for Ubisoft to have a strong transmedia strategy, Guillemot said, because it keeps players engaged with brands between new game releases. "Otherwise, the brand goes down or disappears, and you have to rebuild from the ground up," he said.
Ubisoft is currently making movies based on the following franchises: Rabbids, Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon, Watch Dogs, Far Cry, and Splinter Cell. Inglourious Basterds and 12 Years a Slave actor Michael Fassbender will play the lead in the Assassin's Creed movie while Batman and Inception actor Tom Hardy has been cast for the Splinter Cell movie.
Video game movies are all the rage right now. In addition to Ubisoft's six movies, other films in the works include projects based on franchises like Thief, Warcraft, The Last of Us, Temple Run, Minecraft, Metal Gear Solid, and Angry Birds. The most recently released video game movie was Need for Speed, which starred Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul and was actually a lot of fun to watch, at least the driving sequences were.
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