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Ubisoft 'Ready To Go' On Clancy MMO

Ubisoft 'Ready To Go' On Clancy MMO

March 20, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander

March 20, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander
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Following French publisher Ubisoft's (Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2) recent announcement that it acquired all IP rights to the name Tom Clancy," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot held a conference call on what he called "a major step in the development of Ubisoft," revealing further details -- such as a Tom Clancy-branded MMO in the works.

The Details On The MMO

Guillemot revealed that the company had considered developing an MMO for some time, but had been held back by the royalty fees they will no longer have to pay.

"On the MMO, the investment is generally high, so you need to maximize the revenue. And with the royalties we had [been paying], it was another barrier not to create the game, because the return on investment was diminished by that," he said.

Continued Guillemot, "Having no royalties, it's going to help us to have a full return, so we are ready and decide now to go for an MMO on the Clancy name -- which is big, because you have on one side Splinter Cell, Sam Fisher, the Rainbow [Sixes] the GRAW and all the other new creations that we have. So this will make that product [a] really big product."

Ready When The Team's There

Moreover, Guillemot revealed that the company has the technology in place to begin developing as soon as team sizes are appropriate. "We have the technology to create MMOs, and we have lots of our games that are on the Clancy franchise that are already multiplayer," he said.

"So to create an MMO, we need to have larger teams to actually spend the time and to create it. So it's more a question of decisions and teams, and now ,because we have the knowhow so we can go for it now."

Though Guillemot declined to say when the MMO might be coming, he estimated it would cost between $40 and $50 million to develop.

Cross-Media Potential

Guillemot also expressed enthusiasm for developing cross-media properties using the IP rights: "We can actually, in creating the stories, create new characters, new backgrounds that help us to define those characters for the games and for the future movies," he noted.

Added Guillemot, "It will help to build bridges between books, movies and games to enhance consumer interest... our goal is to make sure they get in the Clancy universe around our products. They can play, read, watch movies or TV series, and all this will make them get more interested by that universe, and control the ability to get a lot more information on the characters and what happens and so on."

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