Ubisoftâ??s Mallat talks up 3D and movie hybrids

Ubisoftâ??s Mallat talks up 3D and movie hybrids

By Rob Crossley

November 30th 2009 at 10:18AM

But the studio CEO doesnâ??t want â??to get into the pitfall of blurring the lines between film and games"

Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat has outlined the firm’s plan to become a "360-degree entertainment content provider", complete with cutting-edge 3D TV tech and a strategy to cross-pollinate with the film industry.

Mallat – who described the current financial quarter as Ubisoft’s most important yet – elected to praise the potential of 3D TV despite hesitance from consumers and critics.

"3D is to pictures what Dolby Stereo was to sound," he told The Financial Post. “No one wants to go back to mono.”

Mallat’s praise for 3D comes ahead of the release of Avatar; James Cameron’s latest film franchise that Ubisoft is currently making a game to coincide with. Ubisoft’s title is thought to be one of the first to use 3D technology that a special ‘polarised light’ TV is required for – though the game features an alternate non-3D mode for standard televisions.

The Avatar game project is being developed in partnership with James Cameron's production company, Lighthouse Entertainment. Mallat and Ubisoft are no longer strangers to film and game hybrids – production is currently underway for a Prince of Persia movie.

And in 2008, Ubisoft acquired Hybride Technologies, a Montreal-based studio renowned for its expertise in the creation of visual effects for cinema, television and advertising.

Mallat remained cautious, however, when approaching the sensitive subject of mixing games with film.

"I don't want to get into the pitfall of blurring the lines between film and game," he said. "We're trying to build capacity to tap into other entertainment experiences. The value lies on the way to get there."

Ubisoft Montreal’s approach was given a brief outline by Mallat, who said the firm is aiming to up the realism in the next generation of consoles to the point where rendered images are as clear as pictures from a high-definition TV show.

“That might mean [Ubisoft] releasing movies and video games at the same time," he said. "Why not?"