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Monday, March 24, 2008

Ubisoft Acquires Rights to Tom Clancy's Name

An Ubisoft presentation of a game developed by Ubisoft Montreal for the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Reviewed on Xbox 360.
At its basest formulation, a videogame franchise with annual sequels is a lot like a car with a new model every fall. So it is with “Rainbow Six Vegas 2,” which takes last year’s hit squad-based shooter, makes a few minor improvements, and offers essentially a big expansion pack of what was a tightly designed game with a few notable flaws. As such, it should enjoy solid sales amongst hard core fans of the original eager for more and some new fans who want to start with the souped up version, but won’t turn as many heads as its predecessor.
Tom Clancy name belongs to Ubisoft forever

Much of Ubisoft’s core franchise games start their titles with “Tom Clancy’s,” be it Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, or even Ubisoft Montreal’s own completely imagined Splinter Cell. Clearly with no intention to change what appears to be a winning formula, Ubisoft announced that it will acquire all intellectual property rights to the Tom Clancy name.

The value of this all-cash acquisition was not disclosed, but going forward, the Tom Clancy name will belong to Ubisoft. The company will now will have full reign over the name – royalty free – for use in books, video games and movies.

Ubisoft projects that the royalty savings generated by this acquisition are estimated at a minimum of 5 million Euros ($7.7 million) per year, based on past performance of Tom Clancy branded video games.

“The most recent example of such value creation through brand management is the EndWar book, based on the video game story, which has been in the NY Times top 10 Paperback Mass Market Fiction bestseller list for the last four weeks,” stated Yves Guillemot, CEO at Ubisoft. “Capitalizing on the strong franchises that we've built over the past 10 years, we will take the Tom Clancy game brand to the next level of the global entertainment industry.”

Other comments made by Guillemot during a conference call point to the creation of a Tom Clancy MMO game, which might previously have been cost prohibitive on a royalty-based system. Guillemot also estimated that the development of a new MMO title could cost $50 million.

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