300, Sin City Movie Makers Purchased by Ubisoft

Video game publisher Ubisoft today announced its acquisition of Hybride Technologies, the studio behind the stylish visual effects of the 300 and Sin City films.

Under Ubisoft, Hybride will continue its work with film while "bringing its expertise to leverage Ubisoft's intellectual properties for the movie industry." The two will also work together in developing tools for video game and visual effects production, with a goal of cinema-quality game visuals.

Video game properties held by Ubisoft include the medieval murder simulator Assassin's Creed, the military-themed Tom Clancy brand, the Far Cry open-world shooting franchise, and the story-driven Beyond Good & Evil adventure games along with the Rayman platforming series and its mini-game-driven Raving Rabbids offshoot.

Last year, Ubisoft opened a studio dedicated to the production of computer-generated short films and noted the possibility of entering the movie industry. A feature film adaptation of its Prince of Persia titles is currently in production.

In addition to 300 and Sin City, other films with visual effects by Hybride include Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D, Snakes on a Plane, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, the Spy Kids series, and Highlander 3.

"This alliance is a true first for the industry," commented Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat. "Ubisoft and Hybride share the same vision of entertainment convergence and a common passion for innovation and creativity."

Details of the acquisition were not released, though Ubisoft expects initial revenues of $6-7 million, with an operating income around 10% of that sum.