The Watch Dogs video game is scheduled to debut later this year on Sony Pictures‘ parent Sony’s next-gen PlayStation 4, which just got a November 15 release date in the U.S. The collaboration on the “blockbuster movie” with New Regency is the latest deal for Ubisoft‘s movie unit Ubisoft Motion Pictures, which is also teaming with New Regency on a Splinter Cell movie starring Tom Hardy and an Assassin’s Creed adaptation with Michael Fassbender toplining among other projects. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillamot said onstage during Sony’s press event at GamesCon in Germany that in 20 years, he and PlayStation executives would look back on the tie-up as a game changer in the game space. Here’s Sony’s release:
Culver City, CA August 20, 2013 – Today at the Sony Computer Entertainment press conference at GamesCom, Ubisoft® announced that its film and television division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, is collaborating with Sony Pictures Entertainment and New Regency on development of a feature film based on Watch Dogs™, Ubisoft’s highly anticipated open world action-adventure video game, available for Sony’s PlayStation 4 this holiday.
“Sony Pictures and New Regency are ideal partners for us,” said Jean-Julien Baronnet, chief executive officer, Ubisoft Motion Pictures. “Their deep production expertise and willingness to allow us to maintain a strong creative voice in the film means that we’re on track to deliver a movie that can build upon the excitement that Watch Dogs already is generating as a game.”
Commenting on the announcement, Hannah Minghella, president of Production for Columbia Pictures, said, “The themes and open gameplay of ‘Watch Dogs’ lends itself perfectly to the big screen. The game has intense action and adventure, but the story focuses on information and the control of information, which we think will lead to an exciting thriller. It has tremendous potential as a motion picture and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Ubisoft’s internal creative team on the development of the project.”
Watch Dogs centers on Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker bent on revenge and inflicting his own brand of justice after a violent family tragedy. Using all of his skills, Pearce hacks into Chicago’s Central Operating System (ctOS), which controls the city’s infrastructure, including security cameras, traffic lights, and public transportation, as well as databases containing key information on the city’s residents. In the game, Pearce turns the entire city of Chicago into his ultimate weapon. The game received many awards at E3 2012, including Best of Show from Gaming Excellence and three awards (Biggest Surprise, Best New Franchise and Best PC Game) from IGN. The game also won GameSpot’s People’s Choice Most Exciting Game of E3 2013.
The project will be overseen at Ubisoft by Ubisoft Motion Pictures. At Columbia, Minghella and Sam Dickerman will oversee development while Alexandra Milchan and Andrew Calof will work on the forthcoming film for New Regency.