Ubisoft acquires Hybride

Companies will partner for visual effacts, video games

Video game publisher and developer Ubisoft has acquired Montreal-based visual effects house Hybride Technologies in a deal that appears to be the first of its kind.

Terms were not disclosed.

"Ubisoft and Hybride share the same vision of entertainment convergence," said Yannis Mallat, CEO of Ubisoft Montreal. "We believe (next-generation game consoles) will have the capabilities to display in real time the same image quality as we see today within the movie industry. It is now that we need to cross-pollinate and share processes."

Hybride, whose credits include "Journey to the Center of the Earth," which opens Friday, will operate as a Ubisoft subsidiary, maintaining its brand name and office space. Plans call for Ubisoft and Hybride to share technology and develop tools for the creation of video games and visual effects. Hybride also will continue to work with its film partners.

The forecast is that this visual effects creation for cinema, TV and advertising initially will generate sales of 6 million-7 million euros.

Stereoscopic 3-D also is part of the agenda. Ubisoft is developing a 3-D video game based on James Cameron's anticipated 3-D film "Avatar."