The film division of vidgame publisher Ubisoft has designs beyond the big screen.
The motion picture unit of the Paris-based company announced plans Monday to launch an Ubisoft-focused theme park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 10,000 square-meter park is scheduled to open in 2020.
“Together we are creating a place where every guest is a player, every ride is a playground, every visit is a game,” said Jean de Rivières, senior vice president, Ubisoft Motion Pictures.
This isn’t Ubisoft’s first foray into the world of theme parks. Ubisoft Motion Pictures worked with France’s Futuroscope in 2014 to create a 3D dark ride based on the “Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time” game.
The success of that ride, which was named one of 2014’s top attractions in the world, was so encouraging that the company began investigating plans for a larger experience, which led to Monday’s announcement.
While rides will, of course, be the focal point, de Rivières tells Variety that since Ubisoft Motion Pictures is in charge of the project, the storytelling experience is paramount.
“We’re going to try to have a story that starts at the beginning of the visit, continues throughout the visit and hopefully extends beyond the visit as well,” he says. “It’s not about the technology. It’s about the techmology serving the story.”
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The publisher stopped short of specifically declaring which of its many franchises would be incorporated into rides and shows. It’s not hard to imagine, though, that the park will incorporate the “Rabbids” IP, which is already a television show on Nickelodeon (and recently received a renewal order).
And 2016 will see the release of an “Assassin’s Creed” film starring Michael Fassbender. That franchise is Ubisoft’s most valuable, making a theme park experience likely as well.
Other contenders include “Just Dance” and several based on Tom Clancy-themed games like “Rainbow Six” and “Splinter Cell.”
The company plans to work with RSG, a Malaysian developer that specializes in theme parks. Among RSG’s current projects is MAPS – the Movie Animation Park Studios – a park that will incorporate attractions from DreamWorks, The Smurfs and other well known animated projects.
Ubisoft’s venture comes just four months after Nintendo announced a partnership with Universal Parks and Resorts, bringing the video game company’s collection of characters, including Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda, to the popular resorts in the form of Nintendo-themed rides and character appearances.