Video game giant Ubisoft is getting cartoonish.
The Paris-based company’s film and television division is developing a slate of animated series inspired by its existing IP. First up: a Mars-set Rabbids Invasion special, after four successful seasons of the France 3/Netflix/Nickelodeon kids show. Other family-friendly programs in the works include a comedy-adventure inspired by the popular Rayman franchise and Hungry Shark Squad, based on the mobile game Hungry Shark.
“Every show has a different target that it’s aiming at and a different format,” Ubisoft Film & Television, Paris managing director Helene Juguet tells The Hollywood Reporter.
For slightly older viewers, Ubisoft is toning down its M-rated Watch Dogs action-adventure franchise for a tamer “cybermystery” aimed at tweens. The show centers on a teenaged "super hacker" who solves crimes in her high school.
Following comments and questions from the community following the announcement, Ubisoft issued the following clarification on the cybermystery series: "To clarify, the animated television show involving hacking is inspired by the themes and ideas of the Watch Dogs brand but it is not set in the same universe or tied to it directly."
Meanwhile, the company has partnered with Netflix’s Castlevania producer Adi Shankar for the young-adult series Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Vibe (based on the M-rated Far Cry 3 expansion Blood Dragon), which will form a multiverse with other Ubisoft titles. The company also is working on an animated sketch comedy about video game culture.
"Adi is such a great fan of video games. We share the same culture and references," Juguet says. "It's been great to give him the freedom to do something very fresh and bold with our characters."
In addition to teaming with outside partners, Ubisoft’s in-house animation studio also includes an “incubator” team, a small group of creatives tasked with bringing games to other media. “One of the incubator’s key projects is to translate the essence of video games,” Juguet says. “Our goal is to translate that into an innovative visual and engaging storytelling in animation.”
Oct. 10, 12:59 p.m. PT Updated with Ubisoft's clarification of cybermystery series