French videogame publisher Ubisoft
, known for franchises such as Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell, appears to be moving toward leveraging its properties for the big and/or small screen. Ubisoft Motion Pictures is what the new venture will be called. Reports that the loud sucking sound I've been hearing is related to this announcement remains unconfirmed, however.
The Paris-based film division will be headed by Jean-Julien Baronnet who was the former CEO of Luc Besson's EuropaCorp.
Well all know the shady track record videogames have when adapted for movies. Even big budget and big name star fare, such as Jerry Bruckheimer's adaptation of Ubisoft's Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, barely reached mediocre status. There's no word yet whether they'll use this as a way to get more creative control over future videogame to movie adaptations, but more likely Ubisoft simply wants its hands in every pot. In '07 they expanded into computer animation and in '08 they acquired visual effects company Hybride Technologies.
Whatever happens, I wont be holding my breath for the "Citizen Kane" of videogame movie to come from this.