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Ubisoft Entertainment S.A. ( ) ( ) is a Frenchmarker computer and video game publisher and developer with headquarters in Montreuil-sous-Bois, Francemarker. The company has facilities in over 20 countries, with studios in Torontomarker, Montrealmarker and Quebec Citymarker, Canadamarker; Bucharestmarker, Romaniamarker; Barcelonamarker, Spainmarker; Shanghai, Chengdumarker, Chinamarker; Singaporemarker; Cary, North Carolinamarker, USAmarker; Düsseldorfmarker, Germanymarker; Sofiamarker, Bulgariamarker; Casablancamarker, Moroccomarker; Sydneymarker, Australia; Milanmarker, Italymarker; Punemarker, Indiamarker and São Paulomarker, Brazilmarker; amongst other locations.

As of 2004, it was the third-largest independent video game publisher in Europe, and the seventh largest in the United Statesmarker. Ubisoft's revenue for 2002-2003 was 453 million; for fiscal year 2003-2004, this grew to €508 million. As of 2005, Ubisoft employed more than 3,500 people, of which over 1,700 are classed as working in production. The company's largest development studio is Ubisoft Montrealmarker, which in 2004 employed approximately 1,600 people. Yves Guillemot, a founding brother, was the chairman and CEO. As for 2008-2009, Ubisoft's revenue was €1,058 million, reaching the 1 billion euro milestone for the first time in its history.

History

The five brothers of the Guillemot family founded Ubisoft as a computer game publisher in 1986 in Francemarker (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 Statesmarker, the United Kingdommarker, and Germanymarker.

In the early 1990s, 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 Shanghai and Montrealmarker.

In 2000, Ubisoft acquires Red Storm Entertainment.

In February 2001, they acquire Düsseldorf, Germanymarker based Blue Byte Software.

In March 2001, Gores Technology Group sold The Learning Company's entertainment division (which includes games originally published by Brøderbund Software, Mattel, Mindscape and Strategic Simulations, Inc.) to them. The sale included the rights to IP such as the Myst and Prince of Persia series.

In October 2001, they acquire Gamebusters and move them to the German Offices.

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 Chinesemarker 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. Nevertheless, a mere week later, the company announced its acquisition of Wolfpack Studios, developer of Shadowbane.

In December 2004, a rival game corporation Electronic Arts purchased a 19.9% stake in the firm, an action Ubisoft referred to as "hostile" on EA's part.

In March 2005, Ubisoft acquired part of MC2-Microïds (Microïds Canada) and integrated it into Ubisoft Montrealmarker.

In July 2006 Ubisoft also bought the Driver franchise from Atari for a sum of €19 million (USD$24 million) in cash for the franchise, technology rights, and most asset. Additionally, though Ubisoft is not acquiring the studio outright, the members of Driver developer Reflections Interactive became employees of Ubisoft. As a result, Reflections Interactive was subsequently renamed Ubisoft Reflections.

On 11 April 2007, Ubisoft announced that it had acquired German game developer Sunflowers, followed by an acquisition of Japanesemarker developer Digital Kids that November.

Ubisoft is also responsible for publishing famous franchises produced by other important studios for some specific platforms, such as Resident Evil 4 for PC, which is a Capcom production, and Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon for PlayStation 2 and Harvest Moon Online, which are Marvelous Interactive productions.

On November 10, 2008, Ubisoft acquired Massive Entertainment from Activision.[61427]

Studios

As one of the largest video game companies in the world, Ubisoft has several divisions and offices throughout the world. While some were founded by Ubisoft, others have been acquired over time. Some of these studios are:



Games

Upcoming games

2009 + 2010



Unknown date



Upcoming motion pictures



Game engines

Ubisoft utilizes a multitude of engines. In the current generation, it has licensed third party engines like Epic's Games' Unreal Engine 2.5 (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction), Unreal Engine 3.0 (Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2, Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway), GRIN's Diesel Engine (Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (PC), Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (PC)), and the CryEngine (Far Cry Instincts) Onyx Engine was used in several 2007 DS and PSP releases; Cranium Kabookii, Chessmaster: The Art of Learning (DS), Surf's Up (DS and PSP), and TMNT (DS and PSP).

In addition, it has utilized proprietary and first party technology, including: the Anvil engine (Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia, Shaun White Snowboarding, Assassin's Creed 2), the YETI engine (Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter,Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, America's Army: True Soldiers, Beowulf, Lost: Via Domus), the Jade engine (Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, Beyond Good & Evil, Rayman Raving Rabbids, TMNT, Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Naruto: Rise of a Ninja, Naruto: The Broken Bond), the LyN engine (Rabbids Go Home, Red Steel 2), and the Dunia engine (Far Cry 2).

UPlay

With the release of Assassin's Creed II in 2009, Ubisoft launched the UPlay network, which is activated either in-game or via the Uplay website. UPlay allows players to connect with other gamers, and to earn rewards based on achievements in UPlay enabled games, with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stating that "the more you play, the more free goods you will be able to have".

Controversies

Ubisoft had, for a time, used the controversial StarForce copy protection technology that installs hidden drivers on a system and is known to cause some hardware problems and compatibility issues with certain operating systems, starting with the game Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, which was not compatible with Windows XP Professional x64 Edition for quite some time, until a patch was released by the makers of StarForce. On 14 April 2006, Ubisoft confirmed that they would stop using StarForce on their games, citing complaints from customers.

In the February 2008 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, Editor-in-Chief Dan “Shoe” Hsu asserted that Ubisoft had ceased to provide all Ubisoft titles to the EGM for any coverage purposes as a result of prior critical previews and negative reviews.

Yves Guillemot, the CEO of Ubisoft, was quoted in the company's third-quarter 2008-09 sales report as saying "as some of our games did not meet the required quality levels to achieve their full potential, they need more sales promotions than anticipated."

Lawsuits

In 2008, Ubisoft sued Optical Experts Manufacturing (OEM), a DVD Duplication company for $20 million plus damages for the leak and distribution of its Assassins Creed PC game. The lawsuit claims that OEM did not take proper measures to protect its product as stated in its contract with Ubisoft. The complaint also alleges that OEM admitted to all the problems in the complaint.

See also



References

  1. http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl?show=60
  2. http://www.gamespot.com/news/2683947.html
  3. http://www.gamezone.com /news/03_07_01_11_45AM.htm
  4. http://www.mobygames.com/company/ubisoft-entertainment-sa/history
  5. http://www.mobygames.com/company/related-designs-software-gmbh
  6. http://news.spong.com/press_release/12279/Ubisoft-acquires-Sunflowers-takes-stake-in-Related-Designs
  7. http://www.mobygames.com/company/ubisoft-divertissements-inc
  8. http://www.ubisoftgroup.com/index.php?p=59&art_id=60&vars=Y29tX2lkPTcwNSZzZW5kZXI9SE9NRSZzZW5kZXJfdXJsPWluZGV4LnBocCUzRnNpdF9pZCUzRDImZmlsdGVyX3R5cGU9JmZpbHRlcl9tb250aD0mZmlsdGVyX3llYXI9&PHPSESSID=6b3079252b905588c7a06bb8a8989faf
  9. http://www.mobygames.com/company/ubisoft-entertainment-sa/history
  10. http://www.ubi.com/FRCA/News/Info.aspx?nId=3261
  11. http://www.mobygames.com/company/ubisoft-so-paulo
  12. Q & A with Ubisoft Singapore Managing Director Olivier de Rotalier
  13. StarForce website page about patch
  14. Ubisoft officially dumps Starforce
  15. 3 Companies Bar EGM From Coverage Following Poor Reviews
  16. "Banned", Dan "Shoe" Hsu's blog at 1UP.com
  17. Ubisoft 3rd-quarter 2008-09 sales report
  18. ubisoft vs OEM


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