Ubisoft acquires Sin City special effects firm

Ubisoft acquires Sin City special effects firm
Michael French

By Michael French

July 8th 2008 at 4:50PM

French publisher's global stampede continues with swoop for Montreal VFX team Hybride

Ubisoft has heralded its acquisition of the VFX firm responsible for effect in movies such as Sin City and 300 as "a groundbreaking event for digital entertainment".

At a press conference in Montreal today Ubisoft Montreal, the firm's biggest internal studio, announced the purchase of local VFX outfit Hybride, which works in cinema, TV and advertising.
 
Founded 15 years ago, Hybride employs 80 staff and has worked on Spy Kids as well as the iconic Sin City and 300.

Ubisoft said it plans to work closely with the team to share technology and jointly develop tools "in order to optimise the creation of both video games and visual effects and to offer gamers visual experiences that rival those of the cinema".

But at the same time Hybride will continue to work with its film partners - giving Ubisoft a big boost as the firm looks to leverage its IP  in the movie industry.

Hybride's film work will be very lucrative for Ubisoft - it forecast that contracts for cinema, television and advertising jobs initially generate sales of approximately €6m to €7m and a current operating income of about 10 per cent of sales.

"The future of our industry depends on our ability to create brands that captivate audiences and to extend those brands to other forms of entertainment," commented Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer at Ubisoft.

“The acquisition of Hybride falls directly into the strategy that has already led us to open a digital creation studio in Montreal and to acquire the Tom Clancy brand for video games and ancillary products. The exceptional quality of the team at Hybride and the expertise of our Ubisoft teams will allow us to create one of the best 3D animation studios in the entertainment industry.”

"This alliance is a true first for the industry,” continued

Yannis Mallat, chief executive officer of Ubisoft Montreal called the alliance 'a true first for the industry'.

“Ubisoft and Hybride share the same vision of entertainment convergence and a common passion for innovation and creativity," he said.

 “It is the quality and innovation of our artists that made Hybride into one of the most successful studios in cinema and the most important visual effects producer on the North American East Coast,” stated Pierre Raymond, founder and chief executive officer at Hybride Technologies. “The sharing of technological and creative expertise between Ubisoft and Hybride will position the two companies at the head of the pack in an entertainment industry in rapid evolution.”

And it's yet another part of the continued expansion of the Ubisoft studio and development tool empire - just two weeks ago it opened its 20th studio, in Brazil, and has been beefing up its presence in emerging Asian markets in the last 12 months. It's Montreal studio is also still growing towards an aim to employ 3,000 staff in the next few years.