SAN FRANCISCO – January 26, 2005 – Today, Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest videogame publishers, announced an exclusive multi-title licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP) to develop and publish games based on “Open Season” and “Surf’s Up,” the first two feature-length animated films from Sony Pictures Animation.
This collaboration represents Ubisoft’s first venture into adapting CGI films for the videogame market and the beginning of a long-term collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation and SPCP. Furthermore, it reinforces Ubisoft’s efforts to maintain a diverse portfolio that appeals to gamers of all ages.
In the action-adventure comedy “Open Season,” Boog (Martin Lawrence), a happily domesticated grizzly bear, lives in the tranquil town of Timberline. Timberline is turned upside down when he meets Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), a scrawny, fast-talking wild mule deer. When the unlikely pair find themselves relocated to the wild just three days before hunting season, Boog and Elliot must learn to work together and unite the territorial animals of the forest. In a rowdy and wacky battle, they make the woods safe once and for all by turning the hunters into the hunted.
The agreement between SPCP and Ubisoft includes “Surf’s Up”, a “mockumentary” based on the groundbreaking revelation that surfing was actually invented by penguins. The Film is being directed by Ash Brannon (“Toy Story 2”) and Chris Buck (“Tarzan”), and produced by Chris Jenkins (credits include “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”). “Surf’s Up” and its videogame adaptation are both scheduled for release in summer 2007. CGI animation for both films is by Sony Pictures Imageworks.
“The slate of films from Sony Pictures Animation offers tremendous opportunities to develop truly unique and entertaining games,” said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer at Ubisoft. “Ubisoft’s long-term agreement with Sony Pictures allows us to be part of the creative process from the very beginning, working closely with the animators and directors on the vision and tone of the games. We are amazed by the quality of their work and their stories which will no doubt enthral the public. Their films will entertain audiences both young and old – who we hope will relive their theatre experiences by interacting with the story through truly captivating games.”
Ubisoft’s award-winning Montreal studio will be developing the games based on both “Open Season” and “Surf’s Up,” working in close collaboration with the production teams at Sony Pictures Animation to ensure the videogames are faithful renderings both artistically and narratively. The “Open Season” title will be released on all available formats in conjunction with the film’s debut in theatres, scheduled for September 29, 2006.
About Open Season:
Open Season is based on the humor of cartoonist Steve Moore (In The Bleachers), who also serves as Executive Producer with John Carls. The film is being directed by Roger Allers (director of The Lion King) and Jill Culton (credits include Monsters, Inc., and Toy Story 2). The co-director is Anthony Stacchi (credits include Curious George and Antz). The producer is Michelle Murdocca (credits include Stuart Little and Stuart Little 2). Open Season is scheduled for theatrical release on September 29, 2006.
Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide. It is the fastest growing company in the videogame industry and has grown considerably through its strong and diversified line-up of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 21 countries and sales in more than 50 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge videogame titles to consumers. Ubisoft generated revenue of €508 million for the 2003–2004 fiscal year, an increase of 22.5 percent over the previous fiscal year at constant exchange rates. To learn more, please visit www.ubisoftgroup.com.
About Sony Pictures Consumer Products
Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP), a Division of Sony Pictures Worldwide Consumer Marketing (SPWCM), is based in Los Angeles and handles the merchandising and branding efforts for some of the most recognized properties in film and television and, through Spider-Man Merchandising, LP a limited partnership with Marvel Enterprises, the Spider-Man™ motion pictures. SPCP properties include upcoming theatrical releases Bewitched, Zathura, and Memoirs of a Geisha, Sony Pictures Animation’s feature films, Open Season and Surf’s Up, television properties such as “It’s A Big, Big, World™”, as well as television favorites including “Wheel of Fortune?” and “Jeopardy!?”.
About Sony Pictures Animation:
Sony Pictures Animation is a division of Sony Pictures Digital. Under the leadership of executives Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox, the division identifies and nurtures fresh voices and dynamic visions for the world of CG animated features for Sony Pictures Entertainment.