Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ubisoft Plugs Into Toronto...

Click images to enlarge...

France-based videogame maker Ubisoft Entertainment SA, with a studio in Montreal, is now set to open a Toronto studio later this year, reportedly creating 800 jobs over 10 years, according to the Ontario Liberal government.

Ontario will invest $263 million over 10 years in the company, with Ubisoft expected to invest over half a billion.

Meanwhile, according to reports from Big Game Hunter, the Montreal studio of Ubisoft continues collaborating with Canadian film director James "Aliens" Cameron on a new game crafted as an extension of his upcoming tent-pole feature "Avatar."

"Ubisoft didn't want to just put something flashy on the screen," said Cameron.

They wanted a soul behind the videogame...The world of the 'Avatar' game is, in some ways, considerably richer than what you are going to see in the film."

"We are learning from the best," said Yannis Mallet, head of Ubisoft's Montreal studio.

"The film and videogame industries are on lines that are not quite parallel, so let's anticipate that the talents are converging and building collaboration, so the whole is greater than the sum of the parts."

Ubisoft was free to create its own characters, vehicles and weapons for the video game, as well as embellish settings on the fictional moon 'Pandora' where the film story is set.

Inspired by author Edgar Rice "Tarzan" Burroughs' "John Carter Of Mars" fantasy book series, "Avatar" is set during the 22nd century on a small moon called 'Pandora', inhabited by ten foot blue humanoids called 'Na'vi'. Humans cannot breathe Pandoran air, so genetically engineered human/Na'vi hybrids known as 'Avatars' are controlled via a mental link.

In 2008, Ubisoft bought Montreal-based Canadian special effects firm Hybride, which worked on animated action films "300" and "Sin City."

Ubisoft also revealed that the company will be working on projects with directors Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg on a new "Tintin" game, timed to the release of that feature in 2011...