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UBISOFT ACQUIRES THE TOM CLANCY NAME FOR VIDEO GAMES, RELATED BOOKS, MOVIES AND MERCHANDISING

Paris, FRANCE – 20 March 2008 – Today, Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, announces that it has concluded an agreement with Mr. Tom Clancy to acquire all intellectual property rights to the Tom Clancy name, on a perpetual basis and free of all related future royalty payments, for use in video games and ancillary products including related books, movies and merchandising products.

The price of this all cash acquisition is not currently disclosed. Post acquisition, Ubisoft expects to have a net cash position of around 130 M€ by the end of fiscal 2007-08, compared to a previous expectation of approximately 150 M€. Additional payments will be made as well in fiscal 2008-09 and fiscal 2009-10.

On the basis of past performance of Tom Clancy branded video games, and excluding any potential contribution coming from sales of ancillary products, the royalty savings generated by this acquisition are estimated to have an average positive impact on Ubisoft's operating income of a minimum of 5 M€ per year.

"After ten years of a highly successful collaboration which has seen the creation of blockbusters that set standards in the videogame industry, such as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, today, acquiring the perpetual property rights of the Tom Clancy name for video games and related projects is a major event,” stated Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer at Ubisoft.

“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.

The Tom Clancy brand is recognized around the world for offering exciting video games, films and books. The most recent example of such value creation through brand management is the EndWar book, based on the video game story, which has been in the NY Times top 10 Paperback Mass Market Fiction bestseller list for the last four weeks.

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."

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The brand was already losing it's impact, but this is even worse. Kind of feels like Ubisoft has free reign to do whatever they want with it now. Need to make some extra dough or make something sound "tactical" or "serious," just slap the Clancy label on it.

I'm not surprised by his action, but it's still kind of lame. He spoke at my college many years ago for a "literary festival" the students put on every year. It's suppose to be more about the integrity of writing and that sort of thing. He was the keynote speaker at the end of the week and all he talked about was money and how hard it is to become a successful writer and that no one would probably make it. I suppose it was more of a "realist" look at things, but that's not really what the festival is about...it's about the writing. It was just very eye-opening about his personality and what he thought of things. You could tell a book was only successful to him if it sold millions. Perhaps not totally, but there was definetly something to be said for the way he gave that speech.

Not to paint a horrible picture of him, because I like his books and think pretty highly of him, but it was definetly different and had almost nothing to do with writing. More about just success. But having seen that, it doesn't surprise me at all that he would "sell his name." My God, that's almost like selling your soul to the devil if you want to get all literary and figurative about it.

The sad thing is, does he really need the money?

I guess what really gets me regardless of the work that ubi does on the games, they are getting rich off his success to some degree, and now they've even bought his success for their own. Not to say their games aren't good without the name, but what exactly would they be. Some would say they'd be even better without the name because it would remove expectations like in the case of Vegas or GRAW.

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Yes you read correctly.... wait for it.... wait for it..... yep that's the sound of millions of little hopes evaporating into thin air...

Well it looks like TC is such a cash cow at this point that UBI want's Intellectual Property rights to everything Tom Clancy in the future. So they bought it.

Well I hope I'm not the only one that sees this as a inherently BAD thing. UBI's been driving Rainbow and GR into the ground. Further and further away from what they were originally into Hollywood hockneyed B movie stories. It's terrible.

[Merged with the existing thread]

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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."

:rofl:

Yes you read correctly.... wait for it.... wait for it..... yep that's the sound of millions of little hopes evaporating into thin air...

Dude, the hopes that UBISOFT would come good with Tom Clancy games were gone long, long ago.

Anyone who is still expecting them to get a Tactical FPS right - needs to be slapped around with some "Wake Up and smell the coffee!!!"

Just switch to Ground Branch from Black Foot Studios - the hope hasn't gone as such - it's just shifted.

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I really don't think he's much of a writer. Good researcher, boring writer. I'll stick to Hemingway.

Much as I'd like to say I enjoyed his books - I've actually never managed to finish any of them.

I read a few while away on duties, spanktastic reads.

Have been keeping an eye out lately for more in the locals, for while at work. I get sucked into the book, ignore everyone, they forget your there.

:thumbsup:

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I really don't think he's much of a writer. Good researcher, boring writer. I'll stick to Hemingway.

Much as I'd like to say I enjoyed his books - I've actually never managed to finish any of them.

Well that likely says something good about you Rocky. Despite all of the realism accolades heaped upon him and some accuracies in places, his books are riddled with holes. The main plot of The Hunt for Red October has a hole in it big enough to drive a boomer through. I liked the book and movie. But the premise had a technical flaw(s) in it so large it would have made the entire plot cave in. Not to mention numerous, and I mean numerous realism innaccuracies.

I say good riddance and we can all stop lamenting the loss of two series that were run into the ground long before this deal today. This was nothing more than the Ubi bulldozers pushing dirt over franchise long since dead anyway. The sooner everyone admits that they will be able to do two things.

First they can decide if they want to enjoy the current games for the arcade experience that they are. If you want to that's great. If not, that is great too.

Second people can realize there are titles out there that reveal the current two big Clancy named numbers - GRAW and Vegas - to be exactly what they are. An 18 year old girl. A lot of flash and little substance. As for Splinter Cell, that may recover some but Bourne and Velvet Assassin, especially the latter will offer great stealth gameplay in abdication of Sam. Besides, Metal Gear Solid always held the crown in that department. No one should kid themselves, it isn't as if Splinter Cell was ever realistic.

So instead of lamenting, this is a day for celebration. Maybe some smart publisher will finally look around and realize there is a huge vacancy in gaming. All one has to do is go look at the Vegas 2 boards and read the comments of some very mad people.

Edited by Hatchetforce
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All one has to do is go look at the Vegas 2 boards and read the comments of some very mad people.

Blimey, I see what you mean - I really don't think I've seen so much negativity over a title on launch week before. I had to laugh when I saw someone post (in all seriousness too)

It'll be alright when it's patched.

- yeh, that's console feedback!

Not to go off topic or anything, but it's even taking a bashing for the one thing Ubisoft boasted working on hard, and as an excuse for lowering the co-op players - i.e. the storyline.

Oh dear.

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Metal gear solid is more realistic than splinter cell?

No, it's just better.

Anyway, Yves said in an interview this means characters can crossover -- Sam Fisher in GR, etc. They'll be able to make a more cohesive brand, good for them.

They still don't have the r6 license for themself, though.

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They still don't have the r6 license for themself, though.

The deal only doesn't include the rights to Books or Films set in the Rainbow Six universe, Ubi do have them for games and anything else

and Ubi doesn't get exclusive rights on Tom Clancy's past catalogue of books (as they were already shared out)

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I dont really get how mgs can be better than SC, the enemy is blinder, the storylines are whacked out beyond all sanity.

There are robot ninjas everywhere, machines thats sounds like cows and it's WAY to japanese in style, no thanks, I'll pass.

Realistic or not, I rather be playing splinter cell anyday...

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I see not much has changed around here since I left awhile ago. :)

Good to see old friends... good to see new faces. Still wishing we didn't have to argue over the same damn situation.

I read that Ubi bought Tom Clancy's soul for $20 million or so. Figures. The spirit's been dead for awhile now so selling the soul is just that much easier.

-John K.

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They still don't have the r6 license for themself, though.

The deal only doesn't include the rights to Books or Films set in the Rainbow Six universe, Ubi do have them for games and anything else

and Ubi doesn't get exclusive rights on Tom Clancy's past catalogue of books (as they were already shared out)

Ah, you're right. It's interesting to note that as far as i can see they do have film and book rights to his name for Ghost Recon and all of their other IPs.

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I see not much has changed around here since I left awhile ago. :)

Good to see old friends... good to see new faces. Still wishing we didn't have to argue over the same damn situation.

I read that Ubi bought Tom Clancy's soul for $20 million or so. Figures. The spirit's been dead for awhile now so selling the soul is just that much easier.

-John K.

I have always wondered why I haven't seen any new books out by Clancy. Now I know why.

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Further details from Gamespot.

The executive also revealed that another big factor in the acquisition was the fact the deal allows Ubisoft to explore a Tom Clancy-branded massively multiplayer project. "We will be able to adapt the brand to new formats, in particular the MMO format, where the royalties were a big thing holding us back," said Guillemot. Though no specific game was announced, his was reminiscent of those of Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who recently dropped a huge hint to a group of investors his company was considering a massively multiplayer project based on the Call of Duty series.

That said, Guillemot also revealed the Clancy deal's limitations. For one, it doesn't include exclusive rights to Clancy's past catalog of books, the rights to which are shared among several parties. Second, the deal does not include rights to books or films set in the Rainbow Six universe, which remain with another, undisclosed party.

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TX's Rocky, had already posted about the MMO here and mentioned the books and film above :thumbsup:

Ah, you're right. It's interesting to note that as far as i can see they do have film and book rights to his name for Ghost Recon and all of their other IPs.

Yes, it's because the rights to an R6 film were already sold to Paramount studios - John Woo was originally rumoured to be going to direct it - apparently it's still in development and so could still pop up sometime in the future

and the R6 book(s) rights were similarly already sold.

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I really don't think he's much of a writer. Good researcher, boring writer. I'll stick to Hemingway.

And I thought this deal went down last year. WTC?

We were doing HALO drops out west when one of his researchers came out under agreement with DoD to ride up to 12 grand while we were doing non O2 drops. Dud. No frame of reference really concerning the military or it's structure. That makes it certain that the details will be missed because he is unable to understand what constitutes a unique feature or trait. No knowledge of SOF whatsoever.

No wonder the book that was eventually published, Inside Special Forces, had beret flashes labled as SF Shoulder patches as if each group had a different unit patch. Seriously, if you can't properly ID the SF shoulder patch - Arrowhead, Dagger, and 3 Lightning Bolts - how can you be expected to properly relate operational approaches and likewise intricate details.

Vegas is dead. No problem as I still have the original and a really kickass mod enroute for RvS. There is a reason people are clamoring for the real thing.

Splinter Cell has lost it's identity. No problem, Metal Gear Solid 4, the original and best is enroute to tell Sam to GTFO the throne, the king is home and it looks to be a walloping title. There is a reason Metal Gear Solid is far more popular than Splinter Cell ever was.

Ghost Recon has become starship troopers. No problem, I run the latest in VBS2. But there is a reason a seven year old game has more players than the latest versions.

I will say the specific individuals that decided to ruin these games instead of expanding upon their unique heritage should be stood up against the wall and slapped.

Edited by Hatchetforce
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wouldn't it be funny if Clancy wrote a new book and be sued by UBI because his storyline doesn't fit in the trusted UBI Tom Clancy franchise?

seriously, this deal is just upholding the status quo. all "old-school fans" unmasked the recent arcade games for what they were and will unmask future ones too. and the majority of tactikool gamers that are the new clientele, they know the name Tom Clancy just from these very games.

tl; dr: dead horses etc.

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Though things have gone decidedly downhill recently, you gotta give the man credit: He gave us OR6 and [GR].

I don't think he had really anything to do with [GR], past the fact that he formed RSE. Could be wrong, but i'm pretty sure that was just his name on it.

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I will say the specific individuals that decided to ruin these games instead of expanding upon their unique heritage should be stood up against the wall and slapped.

I would do more than slap them.

Yes, Sup, I know that Ubi is in business to make money, but when said business does contradictary things, you have to wonder about their mindset. They threw away a built in customer base.

Ubi has trashed the games that were different and innovative and said games were growing in acceptance and want. I can't help the fact that some people can't smell the coffee and appear to put up roadblocks when suggestions are made on how Ubi can show that they understand the community that they bought when they bought RSE. Ubi employees say they want to win us back, but shoot down ideas presented to them as to how that could be done. Actions do speak louder than words, but the action of someone in a management position saying they misunderstood the market and answering questions in public forum, even one they own would show that they are willing to do what it takes to win us back. Ubi has repeatedly shown that they do not care about their customers by trashing franchises, releasing unfinished products and lack of support for said products (outside of one patch).

I have liked Clancy's books, even if there are some things that are out there, but that is fiction and artistic license is part of writing. As it is now, I don't see myself buying anything else from Ubi (for reasons listed above) and that includes anything with the Tom Clancy name on it.

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