Ubisoft is launching a brand-new division called Ubisoft Motion Pictures, dedicated to adapting its game properties to film and television.
Making a decent feature film out of a videogame franchise is a tricky proposition. Some have met with a certain degree of success – I’m thinking the Tomb Raider and Resident Evil flicks – but I can’t think of any that can actually be described as “good.” The best of the bunch was the 2010 Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which pulled in an estimated $335 million worldwide.
Despite the difficulties, Ubisoft sees big things ahead and its jumping in with both feet. The new Ubisoft Motion Pictures division is headed by Jean-Julien Baronnet, which we wouldn’t care in the least about except for the fact that he’s the former CEO of EuropaCorp, the movie studio co-founded by French action savant Luc Besson, which I think gives him a certain cachet in the business.
UbiMovie hasn’t done anything yet but it does have an impressive variety of properties at its disposal that should translate nicely to the big screen, including the obviously sequelizable Prince of Persia franchise, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Juarez and the many Tom Clancy franchises. That’s no guarantee of success, but it’s not a bad place to start.