Ubisoft drives Hybride

Videogame publisher continues expansion

French vidgame publisher Ubisoft is continuing its expansion into the traditional entertainment biz with a first-of-its-kind deal to acquire Montreal-based f/x house Hybride.

Company will be integrated into Montreal’s Ubisoft studio, which last year established a digital arts arm to expand beyond its work on vidgames such as “Prince of Persia” and “Assassin’s Creed” to produce CG animation.

Unique purchase will let Ubisoft use Hybride’s technology and personnel to improve the animation quality in its games while also giving it a stronger connection to the feature film biz.

“This is accelerating our convergence strategy so that both sides can benefit,” said Ubisoft Montreal topper Yannis Mallat. “The longer term goal is to be able to bring more of our intellectual property to other media.”

Hybride, which has worked on “300,” “Sin City” and “Spy Kids,” plans to increase its film, TV and advertising work while also collaborating with Ubisoft’s game developers, said CEO Pierre Raymond.

Though many vidgame publishers are talking about expanding into other media, Ubisoft has been the most aggressive recently, and it’s the first to buy a special effects studio for that purpose.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, though Ubisoft did say it expects Hybride to bring in an extra revenue of (6 million-(7 million ($9.5 million-$11 million) per year.

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