Ubisoft Entertainment S.A. is a French global video game publisher and developer, with headquarters in Montreuil, France. The company originating from Carentoir (Morbihan, Brittany) has a worldwide presence with 26 studios in 19 countries and subsidiaries in 26 countries. The name "Ubi" comes from the acronym Union des Bretons Indépendants (Independent Breton Union). It is currently the third largest independent game publisher in Europe, and the third largest in the United States. The company's largest development studio is Ubisoft Montreal in Canada, which currently employs roughly 2,100 people. Yves Guillemot, is the chairman and CEO. As for 2008–2009 fiscal year, Ubisoft's revenue was €1.058 billion, reaching the 1 billion euro milestone for the first time in its history. Ubisoft has created its own film division called Ubisoft Motion Pictures which will create shows and films based on its games.
The five brothers of the Guillemot family founded Ubisoft as a computer game publisher in March 1986 in France (Brittany). Yves Guillemot soon made deals with Electronic Arts, Sierra On-Line, and MicroProse to distribute their games in France. By the end of the decade, Ubisoft began expanding to other markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. In the early 90s, Ubisoft initiated its in-house game development program which led to the 1994 opening of a studio in Montreuil, France, which later became their headquarters. Ubisoft became a publicly traded company in 1996 and continued to expand to offices around the globe, opening locations in Annecy, Shanghai and Montreal.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ubisoft committed itself to online games by getting behind Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, The Matrix Online, and the European and Chinese operation of EverQuest. The publisher established ubi.com as its online division. However, in February 2004, Ubisoft cancelled the online portion of Uru and backed out of the publishing deal on The Matrix Online.
In March 2001, Gores Technology Group sold The Learning Company's entertainment division (which includes games originally published by Brøderbund, Mattel, Mindscape and Strategic Simulations, Inc.) to them. The sale included the rights to IPs such as the Myst and Prince of Persia series. In July 2006, Ubisoft also bought the Driver franchise from Atari for a sum of €19 million (US$24 million) in cash for the franchise, technology rights, and most assets. In July 2008, Ubisoft made the acquisition of Hybride Technologies, a Montreal-based studio renowned for its expertise in the creation of visual effects for cinema, television and advertising. In November 2008, Ubisoft acquired Massive Entertainment from Activision. In January 2013, Ubisoft acquired South Park: The Stick of Truth from THQ for $3.265 million.
In December 2004, rival gaming corporation Electronic Arts purchased a 19.9% stake in the firm, an action Ubisoft referred to as "hostile" on EA's part.
As the world's fourth largest video game company as of 2009, Ubisoft studios employs the second largest amount of in-house development staff in the world and has several divisions and offices across the globe. While some were founded by Ubisoft, others have been acquired over time:
- Hybride Technologies, acquired 8 July 2008.
- RedLynx, acquired in November 2011.
- Related Designs in Mainz, founded in January 1995, acquired a 30% stake in the company on 11 April 2007, fully acquired in April 2013.
- Sunflowers Interactive Entertainment Software GmbH in Heusenstamm, Germany, founded in 1993, acquired on 11 April 2007.
- Ubisoft Abu Dhabi, located at media city twofour54 in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This studio opened its doors in December 2011, and it is the first ever gaming development studio in the Middle East that was launched by a multi-millionaire video games publishing company. The studio is also responsible for launching twofour54's gaming academy.
- Ubisoft Annecy – best known for developing the multiplayer for Assassin's Creed series.
- Ubisoft Barcelona, started 1998.
- Ubisoft Blue Byte (former Blue Byte Software) in Düsseldorf, Germany, founded in 1988, acquired February 2001.
- Ubisoft Bulgaria in Sofia, started 2006.
- Ubisoft Casablanca
- Ubisoft Chengdu, started on 17 September 2007.
- Ubisoft Germany in Düsseldorf, started in 1995, acquired Gamebusters in October 2001 and merged employees.
- Ubisoft Japan, started in 1994.
- Ubisoft Massive in Malmö, Sweden, founded as Massive Entertainment in 1997, acquired from Vivendi Games on 10 November 2008.
- Ubisoft Montpellier, acquired Tiwak in 2004 and merged employees. Developer of Rayman Origins, From Dust, and Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn. Michel Ancel is a developer for this division.
- Ubisoft Montreal, started in 1997 as Ubisoft Divertissements Inc., acquired the Canadian division of MC2-Microïds (Microïds Canada) and integrated it into eventually merged into this division in March 2005.
- Ubisoft Pune, started in 2008 after acquiring the Pune Gameloft studio in India. Focuses on porting games to the current generation of consoles and handhelds. In Times Animage 2009 held at Pune it was disclosed by Ubisoft officials that the *Pune Studio was developing its own games on DS, Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms.
- Ubisoft Ukraine, started 29 April 2008.
- Nadeo in Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris, France, founded in 2000. Acquired in 5 October 2009.
- THQ Montreal, acquired 22 January 2013.
- Ubisoft Milan, started in early 1998.
- Ubisoft Nagoya, started in September 1996 as "Digital Kids". Acquired by Ubisoft in 2008.
- Ubisoft Paris, made games such as Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Red Steel, Red Steel 2, and XIII.
- Ubisoft Poland, opened in 2009.
- Ubisoft Quebec, started 1 June 2005, based in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
- Ubisoft Red Storm (formerly Red Storm Entertainment) based in Morrisville, North Carolina, United States, founded in 1996 and acquired in August 2000.
- Ubisoft Reflections in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, founded in 1984 as Reflections Interactive and acquired in 26 August 2006, from Atari.
- Ubisoft Romania in Bucharest, Romania, started in October 1992 and in Craiova from September 2008.
- Ubisoft San Francisco, Ubisoft's North American headquarters.
- Ubisoft Shanghai, announced in early 2009 that their new, Shanghai studio would develop the upcoming Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 title, I Am Alive, instead of the originally expected Darkworks.
- Ubisoft Singapore, started on August 2008. Ubisoft cited the Singapore government's demonstrated interest and support for the video game industry, together with other factors such as the quality of Singapore's universities and training institutions, as reasons for opening a studio there. Ubisoft Singapore is focused on developing their own game titles.
- Ubisoft Taiwan
- Ubisoft Toronto, announced on 6 July 2009, is led by Jade Raymond. Their first productions will include a new installment of the Splinter Cell series made by staff coming from the series' core team at Ubisoft Montreal.
- Quazal, acquired in 4 November 2010.
- Sinister Games, acquired in April 2000, closed in June 2003.
- Ubisoft São Paulo, started on 24 June 2008 and on 20 January 2009 they acquired Southlogic Studios and integrated it into this studio. The studios were closed in late 2010 to focus on games distribution.
- Ubisoft Vancouver, started on 3 February 2009 after acquiring Action Pants Inc. Closed in January 2012.
- Wolfpack Studios in Austin, Texas, United States, founded in 1999 and acquired on 1 March 2004. Closed in 2006.
Shows based on video gamesEdit
- Rabbids Invasion (2013)