HIVE EXCLUSIVE: Ubi Soft Grabs 'Apes,' Commits to GameCube7 Sep, 2001 By: John Gaudiosi
French video game giant Ubi Soft Entertainment has picked up Fox Interactive's long delayed Planet of the Apes game, based on the original Fox film, not the recent retelling by Tim Burton.
While developer Visiware, which owns the license, had its Dreamcast version cancelled and its PlayStation game put in limbo, Planet of the Apes will ship for PC later this month with Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games scheduled to ship in November.
“Signing with Visiware and Fox, a well-known partner in the movie and interactive industries, enables Ubi Soft to pursue its strategy of creating games from strong properties,” said Alain Corre, managing director for Europe, Asia Pacific and South America, Ubi Soft Entertainment.
After being prominently displayed at E3 for three consecutive shows, complete with caged humans and masked apes at the Fox booth, The Planet of the Apes game was nowhere to be seen this past E3, remaining in limbo as Fox Films focused on Burton's July summer film.
Although cross-promotions were originally planned in conjunction with the original Planet of the Apes DVD collection, Fox Interactive dissolved as a publisher and began licensing off its games in development. Planet of the Apes is one of the last of its old game SKUs to be licensed out, although Futurama games are still in development and a publisher is expected to be announced soon.
Planet of the Apes joins Ubi Soft's other entertainment licenses: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Disney's Tarzan, Disney's The Jungle Book and the animated "Batman" TV series.
Ubi Soft has committed to Nintendo's new GameCube system, which will skew younger and target many of Ubi Soft's family licenses. The company will ship six games for GameCube system by March 2002 and will release an additional 14 games by the end of 2002. In addition to Batman Vengeance and Disney's Tarzan Untamed, which will ship this year, Ubi Soft will release Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Rogue Spear, Disney's Donald Duck Goin' Quackers, Rayman Arena and Evolution Worlds.
“We strongly believe in the success of GameCube. It is clearly a next-generation system which will reach millions of players thanks to its mass market price, quality titles and Game Boy Advance link,” said Yves Guillemot, president and c.e.o., Ubi Soft Entertainment. “Nintendo has 18 solid years in interactive entertainment and they have created a pure gaming machine that promises innovative experiences for players.”