Tuesday, December 20, 2016

With Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft is writing a new page of its history – AlloCiné

“Assassin’s Creed” is the first test film for the video game publisher Ubisoft. A historic moment for the brand, and a pioneer to have created a structure entirely dedicated to the development of its franchises on the big and small screens.

for years, video game publishers were content to sell their licenses to the Majors to see in Fine (poorly) adapted into films or used in a format suitable for television. But with the outputs of Warcraft in may of last year and Assassin’s Creed this Wednesday, we are witnessing without doubt a true turning point.

the One who is to take the hand vis-à-vis the Majors relating to the exploitation of their catalogues of videogames on small and big screen, has to be closely associated with the developments of movies or television programs in order to make the most of the brands that is extremely powerful. Leave to enter yourself in the battle, as did Ubisoft.

of course, there are still counter-examples to this : the Fox, the copyright holder of the licence Hitman film, has delivered a Agent 47 from sad memory; without that the in-game editor, Square Enix, or the development studio of the license, IO Interactive, not to be involved in the development of the film.

the fact Remains that these past few years, several publishers, and not least, have changed their rifles to shoulder regarding the management of their licenses, redefining their ties with the Majors of cinema, as illustrated by the example of Ubisoft.

Ubisoft or the gift of ubiquity

The gift of ubiquity, or the art of leverage, was finally in the heart of the DNA of the French publisher Ubisoft, 3rd independent publisher of video games in the world. In April 2011, he announced the creation of Ubisoft Motion Pictures. Objective : to enhance the value of its franchise by adapting its licenses video games, film, and television. For the past several years, the publisher had adopted a development strategy transmedia. One still remembers the redemption in 2008 of studio SFX Hybrid Technology, for example, who worked on 300, Sin City, Avatar, or more recently on the Awakening of the Force.

In November 2009, we had met with Peter Raymond, CEO of the company, during the paris show of the series of short films Assassin’s Creed Lineage, who mixed virtual backdrops and real actors. The objective was very clear : courts by way of class tests, before attempting to play in the big league with a feature film. “those of Us who work a lot with Hollywood, I can tell you that they look at with much, much interest in what will be the next farm film of our licensed” we said to Raymond. The short film before becoming a long to be made by Michael Bay, it will also be the question with Ghost Recon Alpha in 2010, produced by Ridley Scott and signed by the team behind the short oscar-winning Logorama.

in Order to develop its new entity Ubisoft Motion Pictures, the publisher was assistant to the services of three trucks. Jean-Julien Baronet (advantage since), former general director ofEuropaCorp and Rhodia, was appointed to head the subsidiary. Didier Lupfer, the former M6, TPS and Canal +, producer of the multi césarisé Gainsbourg – (vie héroïque), was in charge of production and development. Finally John Rivers, who has spent 14 years in the distribution at Disney, before a stint at EuropaCorp, was appointed responsible for Marketing and distribution internationally.

“when arriving at Ubisoft, our first work of all three has been to analyze and digest these deductibles so as to determine for each of them to what format adapt : feature film, tv series, program flow. With the aim of mastering the development and production in-house” explained, while Jean-Julien Baronet, in an interview published by The French Movie. Whereas in the sector of cinema and TV, the financing is finalized before any production launch, this model “does not appear as a risk-taking major face of video games in which the company may invest up to 30 million euros per title in equity”.

in Addition to the announcements of several film projects in the pipeline (Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed, Watch_Dogs, The Division, etc.), Ubisoft also announced the arrival of the rabbids, not only in the cinema, in the form of an animated feature, but above all in the form of an animated TV series broadcast on France 3 from October 2013.

below is an excerpt of the series, raving rabbids…

For Ubisoft, it is, therefore, to develop these projects and, in particular, the stories in close synergy with the development studios of games. The Question of coherence. But also because the publisher wanted to avoid at any price a disconnect between the positioning of the game and the film, “that can potentially destroy value at the level of its core business” emphasized the French Film.

And Didier Lupfer, vice-president in charge of production, to drive the point home : “each adaptation will have to match the DNA of the game and work, whether as a player or not. [...] We have a competitive advantage strong on the containment of production costs by playing fully the synergies with 23 studios for creation and production in the world. The software created for the games will enable to optimize the pre-production phase”. It is easy to imagine that for Assassin’s Creed, they have had to turn at full speed…

below, the trailer for the movie precisely. An opus film considered “canon”, anchored very officially, in the chronology of the saga of the video game.

If Warcraft was saved at the global Box Office revenues made on chinese soil, what will he d’Assassin’s Creed ? It is hoped that the fim of Justin Kurzel works well enough in the room. The reverse would obviously be a very bad signal at a time when video game publishers are trying to reverse the power relations with the Majors as to the operation of their licences on small and large screens. Not to mention, for Ubisoft, the risk of a gloomy outlook for housing starts of any sequels to Assassin’s Creed to the screen, in addition to substantially seal the projects developed within d’Ubisoft Motion Pictures.


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