French publisher Ubisoft (Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2) has announced that it has acquired all intellectual property rights to the name “Tom Clancy” from the thriller author.
These newly acquired rights, which help to guarantee an important multi-franchise product for the publisher, extend on a perpetual basis, free of any future royalty payments, and include use in video games and related products including books, movies and merchandising.
Tom Clancy is a best-selling author of political thrillers, including books such as The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games, turned into Hollywood films. The author initially began his co-operation with the video game industry with the formation of Red Storm Entertainment, which published the original Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six in 1998.
Purchased by Ubisoft in 2000, the Tom Clancy name has continued to be used by Ubisoft in popular series including Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.
The price of the all cash acquisition has not been disclosed explicitly, but Ubisoft implied in its announcement that the initial payment in this fiscal year was of 20 million euros ($30 million). Additional payments are to also be made in the fiscal years of 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Ubisof has further stated that “on the basis of past performance of Tom Clancy branded video games” (excluding any potential contribution coming from sales of ancillary products) the royalty savings generated by the acquisition are estimated to have an average positive impact on Ubisoft's operating income of a minimum of 5 million Euros ($7.72 million) per year.
"Acquiring the perpetual property rights of the Tom Clancy name for video games and related projects is a major event,” stated Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer at Ubisoft. "The future of our industry lies in our capacity to create and develop brands that captivate consumers and that present a myriad of opportunities for the full spectrum of entertainment, be it video games, books, movies or other media. The Tom Clancy brand is recognized around the world for offering exciting video games, films and books. Capitalizing on the strong franchises that we've built over the past 10 years, we will take the Tom Clancy game brand to the next level of the global entertainment industry."