With Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed movie not even released into theatres yet, it has another movie in the works based on its game Tom Clancy’s The Division . There is no trailer yet for the upcoming film, nor is there a writer for the script itself, but it is said that Jake Gyllenhaal will be both acting in and producing the film. Known for his work in Donnie Darko and Nightcrawler , I would say he gets the movie off to a good start. In addition, Tom Clancy’s novels have a tendency to make great action films – The Sum of All Fears , The Hunt for Red October , and Patriot Games , to name a few. Basically, I don’t think Ubisoft can crash this one unless something goes very wrong.
That said, Ubisoft is a gaming company, not a film company. Is it stretching itself too thin? There have been so many glitches in The Division that I think some of us are beginning to wonder if it’s worth buying. In addition, the Assassin’s Creed series has a reputation for being very glitchy, too. Perhaps this investment into films is dividing Ubisoft’s attention too much, and its games are suffering for it. I would agree with this, if it weren’t for Ubisoft’s rather long-standing reputation for “release now and patch later”. So many developers do this that are not invested in films, I think the problem lies in Ubisoft’s corporate planning rather than the time spent on or quality of a game. Never mind the fact that Ubisoft signed a deal with 20 th Century Fox. I imagine they are the ones doing most of the film work, since they do have a fully realized film studio.
I do, however, think this is a major cash grab. Having fingers in both pies will make Ubisoft money as long as it has more successes than failures. If the Assassin’s Creed movie flops, the next Assassin’s Creed game probably won’t. Thus, Ubisoft can continue to invest in films and perhaps learn from its mistakes. If its films flop continually, however, of course it’ll have to withdraw. But it will take a few films before that happens.
Personally, I think this is a great idea on Ubisoft’s part. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been dying for a movie based on a video game that didn’t suck so bad it was good (I know you remember Lara Croft: Tomb Raider ). Even if the movies it makes bomb at the box office, I will be more than happy that they exist at all. Especially since games have changed so much since the ’90s, being able to see some of my favourite games from the last year turned to film is thrilling. Games these days have a lot more capacity than in the ’90s, and with that comes far more complex stories and worlds. This makes recent games a lot more easily translatable to film, though they are certainly not perfect copy and paste, of course.
Besides, it’s like watching your favourite book come to life on film, mostly in how they’re going to achieve it, to be sure. Take Assassin’s Creed , for example. I am most interested in how they’re going to make the actors climb like the characters in the games without relying on computer graphics. Or if they do rely on CG, it will be interesting to see how they will try to hide it.
I don’t think this investment in films is going to affect Ubisoft’s games at all. It has a history of glitchy games that goes back long before this investment. And this deal is in cahoots with 20 th Century Fox, a very large film company with more than the means to produce whatever it likes, flop or hit. In my opinion, Ubisoft is not stretching itself too thin at all.