Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that it will develop and publish the video game based on Twentieth Century Fox's Avatar, the upcoming feature film written and directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron, whose previous films include Titanic, True Lies, The Abyss, Aliens, The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
Avatar is the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms. As an Avatar, a human mind in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people. More than ten years in the making, Avatar marks Cameron's return to feature directing since helming 1997's Titanic, the highest grossing film of all time and winner of eleven Oscars including Best Picture. The Avatar cast includes Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver. Academy Award-winning visual effects house, WETA Digital, renowned for its work in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and King Kong, will incorporate new intuitive CGI technologies to transform the environments and characters into photorealistic 3D imagery that will transport the audience into the alien world rich with imaginative vistas, creatures and characters.
"Ubisoft is excited to partner with 20th Century Fox and James Cameron on this important project. Avatars' rich scenario, onscreen action and special effects will provide a wealth of inspiration to create a unique interactive experience," said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer of Ubisoft. "True to their reputation, Ubisoft's creative teams are looking forward to recreating Cameron's high definition 3D environment in a compelling game for film and game fans."
James Cameron commented: "For the movie Avatar we are creating a world rich in character, detail, conflict and cultural depth. It has the raw material for a game that the more demanding gamers of today will want to get their hands on -- one that is rich in visuals and ideas, and challenging in play. I told the Ubisoft team I wanted them to be free to do their very best work, and not think of this as a movie-based game. They responded with a fully realized presentation which captured the soul of the world and the characters, while promising to be a knockout game on its own terms. Their passion inspired my confidence that they are going to do something transcendental."
Elie Dekel, Executive Vice President of Fox Licensing and Merchandising added: "James Cameron's Avatar will re-define the movie-going experience forever. Cameron's vision and innovative approach to film-making demand that we align this breakthrough project with the most talented and creative partners in the world. As we embark on the incredible journey that is Avatar, we are thrilled to be collaborating with Ubisoft on the development of the video game. After an extensive review, it became clear the talented Ubisoft team is uniquely able to bring Cameron's vision into the interactive realm."
The game is expected to release in conjunction with the movie's planned opening in May 2009.