Ubisoft CEO claims they will make video game films that do not suck

Holding your breath in hopes that the Assassin’s Creed short film won’t be a steaming pile of badger dung? You may have something worth hoping for, if we’re to believe the word of Ubisoft’s Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat. Gamasutra has a great interview up with him in which he expands upon Ubisoft’s future plans for the studio. Check out a bit of his vision:

For this product, we have a vision of convergence. We think that crossing the processes, sharing the tools, and having [different groups of] people working on the same kind of product will make this happen. As we know quite well how to make video games, now is the time for us to take it to the next level in terms of CG products. This is what we are doing with the creation of Ubisoft Digital Arts Studio. It’s going to be a product where real-time will meld with prerendered, and it will merge into one thing that we are about to shape thanks to the capabilities of the next-gen machines coming soon.

Sexy, indeed. But will we end up with a film as engrossing as the games we love, or will Ubisoft’s adventures in film end up in the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within boat — awfully pretty, but not particularly compelling in terms of story? It seems like we can hope for more from the sound of things. It seems that interactivity is a part of the plan, according to Mallat:

We’ll probably see this kind of stuff (in regards to animated shorts), but we’ll also see products where you can jump in and use the interactivity to control and shape what you’re being told as a story, for example. Let’s say you are watching a famous battle from within a famous sci-fi franchise, and you don’t like the way the battle is turning out for whatever faction it is. If you want to jump in, you jump in and play, and you shape the contents yourself with the interactivity. This is where we envision products going.

Wait. Does he mean the film or game products? If he means the films….you’re going to let me manipulate the film? If I’m allowed to do that, everyone in Assassin’s Creed is going to be naked in about 3 seconds. I’m the mature type. At any rate, it looks like the plans for the studio are ambitious to say the least. Regardless of what they do, it has to be better than the last thing Uwe Boll poured his sweat and tears into, so we can rest easy knowing that.

Colette Bennett