5th October 2009

Catching up with Ubisoft

UbisoftMontreal – Hot off the news desk today is the announcement that Ubisoft has acquired development studio Nadeo, creator of TrackMania®, the cult multiplayer car racing video game.

Set up in 2000 in Paris and comprising a highly talented team of developers, the Nadeo studio has won Trackmaniaacclaim for the quality of its multiplayer technology which offers one of the best available on-line gaming experiences and has already notched up 10 million registered players. Its flagship game – TrackMania® – has 700,000 unique players a month and is a pioneer in the sharing of creations (almost 15 million custom tracks created since 2008). It is also the first eSport franchise for racing games.

“The acquisition of Nadeo is an important step in our expansion within the on-line gaming sector”, said Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer of Ubisoft. “Through Nadeo, Ubisoft will gain an expert team, one of the best on-line technologies around as well as a flagship multiplayer game that enjoys an unrivalled reputation among a loyal and committed community. We are excited about the idea of introducing TrackMania® to an ever-wider audience and sharing the expertise of Nadeo’s teams with our Group’s other developers”.

“Joining Ubisoft is a huge opportunity for us to develop and innovate and take Nadeo to new horizons”, said Florent Castelnérac, Chief Executive Officer of Nadeo. “Nadeo’s team was keen for this acquisition to happen. Like players in a community, we see ourselves as being a complementary fit with Ubisoft and believe that we can share and quickly move ahead together”.

On the home front,  Ubisoft Montreal has released a question and answer session with Avatar game script writer Kevin Shortt.

Kevin Schortt

Kevin Shortt

1. Does the storyline follow that of the movie?

The game story and the film story are two completely different adventures. The game timeline is two years before the movie covering a story that happens on a different part of the moon, Pandora. Our goal was to expand on the universe that James Cameron has created. We didn’t want a repeat of the movie adventure in a game format. Instead, we wanted an opportunity for fans to learn more about this beautiful world and the growing conflict between the RDA and the Na’vi.

2. What is the storyline of the Next-Gen game?

In the NG story, you play a character named Able Ryder, a signals specialist brought from Earth to help the RDA track down a sacred site on Pandora. If the RDA can find it, they can take control of the planet away from the Na’vi. This will allow the RDA to continue their mining of the planet’s resources that are desperately needed back on Earth. The Na’vi learn of the plan and start their own race to find the sacred site. You’re soon faced with a choice: do you want to help the Na’vi preserve their way of life? Or do you want to join the RDA and help to restore order to a mission quickly falling out of control?

Avatar3. Who are the main characters?

• You play as Able Ryder, a Signals Specialist brought from Earth to join the Avatar Program, and to track down a sacred site on Pandora.

• Kendra Midori is your main contact for the RDA. She believes in the RDA cause and reluctantly understands that war may be unavoidable between the Na’vi and the RDA.

• Commander Falco is the Head of Security for the RDA. He sees the Na’vi as nothing more than a virus. A Avatar Commander Falcovirus that has to be wiped clean if the RDA objectives are to be preserved.

• Dr. Harper is Head of the RDA’s Avatar Program. Through all his years on Pandora, Harper has formed a close bond with many of the Na’vi. He understands their way of life and he sees the destructive nature of the RDA mining operations.

• Tan Jala is a Na’vi warrior who wants peace with the RDA. He believes in dialogue with an open palm, not a fist.

• Beyda’amo is a Na’vi warrior who believes there is no room for peace with the RDA. They must be eliminated – simple as that.

• Tsahik Sänume is the matriarch of the Na’vi Tipani Clan. She believes Able Ryder can help the Na’vi to stop the RDA assault.

4. Are some of the characters from the movie also in the game?

Avatar Kendra• Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) is the very first person you meet in the game. Grace is part of the Avatar Program. She assigns you to Dr. Harper. You meet her throughout the game.

• Trudy Chacon (Michele Rodriguez) is your chopper pilot throughout much of the game when fighting for the RDA.

• Commander Quaritch (Steven Lang) is an RDA commander who sets you on some critical missions during the game.

5. Anything else we should know?

The game asks players to do the right thing. The question for the player becomes ‘what is the right thing?’ We don’t give the player that answer. Instead the decision comes down to the type of person you are. How do you like to play the game, and what is your approach to this type of conflict? Philosophically and emotionally, you decide what is right.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 5th, 2009 at 11:05 am and is filed under Business News, Dev Diaries, Upcoming Releases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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