Ubisoft Purchases Tom Clancy Name for Games, All Game-related Products

By Aaron Linde, Mar 20, 2008 12:30pm PDT Ubisoft has announced an agreement with Tom Clancy to acquire all intellectual property rights to the Tom Clancy name for use in video games and ancillary products like related books, movies, and merchandising.

The acquisition frees Ubisoft from the requirement of royalty payments for use of the Tom Clancy brand, which the company expects will help it save at least five million euros (roughly $7.87M) a year. Ubisoft did not disclose the price of the all-cash acquisition.

"The future of our industry lies in our capacity to create and develop brands that captivate consumers and that present myriad of opportunities for the full spectrum of entertainment, be it video games, books, movies or other media," said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot.

"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," he added.

Tom Clancy originally began working with video games when he co-founded Red Storm Entertainment in 1996, which developed and published the original Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon titles. The studio was later purchased by Ubisoft, and the Tom Clancy sphere of video games has since expanded to over 35 titles and expansions.

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  • As a gamer, the Tom Clancy brand is so diluted and diverse that it means absolutely nothing and has no value to me. I mean, what real connection (other than being good games that involve guns) do the various Tom Clancy game series have? Pretty much none whatsoever.

    I guess the brand must attract people who aren't as into gaming as us, who read the books or whatever and see a game on the shelf with the same name and think they should buy it because of that. So maybe it is worth whatever Ubisoft have paid for it.

    I mean, some licences allow you to use characters and settings from their properties. Maybe some of the characters and scenarios in the various Tom Clancy games have been taken from his books but, at least as someone who has no interest in his books, they all seem like things that were probably invented by Ubisoft for the games. Sam Fisher is the only memorable character in a TC game that I can think of; all the others are generic soldiers of some sort in generic anti-terrorist (or anti-Mexican :-)) scenarios. Which are fine for games, but they don't need you to spend $$$ on a licence when you can invent that kind of thing yourself (and when I suspect Ubisoft did invent it themselves and just paid TC to put his name on the box and maybe do some consulting in the very early days).