Officials from publisher Ubisoft have announced that is has completed the previously announced
acquisition of the intellectual property and technology rights to the Driver
franchise, as well as most of the assets and all of the personnel of British developer Reflections.
The sale was made for a total of $24 million, and came as the latest in a series of revenue-raising measures from fellow French publisher Infogrames and its subsidiary Atari brand. The deal does not include Reflections’ other major brand Stuntman
, which was sold to THQ
in May of this year alongside Texas studio Paradigm Entertainment, which is currently working on
a new iteration of the franchise.
Although the Driver
series has sold more than 14 million units worldwide, the series saw an increasingly ambivalent critical reception over time, particularly the third iteration. It was shortly after the release of DRIV3R
that Reflections founder and Driver
creator Martin Edmondson left the developer.
By comparison the fourth, and so far final entry, in the series was better-received, despite disappointing sales. Nevertheless, Ubisoft claim that the purchase was made in order to allow the company to enter the driving game segment, in which the publisher has previously made little headway.
The company has also stated that “Driver
’s technology will have a positive effect on the full range of Ubisoft games”, implying that the game’s technology will be repurposed for other titles. It is in this capacity that Reflections may have held particular appeal for Ubisoft, since the company has long been noted for its technological aptitude, beginning with 16-bit title Shadow of the Beast