Looks like Activision likes the way Ubisoft is doing business.
Not in the video game space; there, Activision has Ubi beat. But when it comes to creating movies based on original game titles, Ubi seems like it has a good thing going. The company started handling development of game to film projects via an internal division, and that led to projects such as Assassin’s Creed with Michael Fassbender and Splinter Cell with Tom Hardy, among others. (Well, it’s led to the possibility of those projects. We haven’t seen the films yet, and there’s no guarantee they’ll be good.)
Now there’s a report saying that Acitivision is in the early stages of creating its own internal film development studio.
There’s a big question, though. While UbiSoft primarily creates games based on concepts owned or exclusively licensed by Ubisoft, Activision produces quite a few licensed games. In the last couple years, the Skylanders and Call of Duty games are Activision’s primary original IP offerings. Activision does have a large set of older properties such as Pitfall, from the classic era of gaming, and more that edge toward the modern side of the business. Any of those could be ripe for development.
Activsion also owns Blizzard, and that could be the real reason for the creation of this studio. But Blizzard already has one of its primary IPs, Warcraft, lodged over at Legendary, where Duncan Jones is finishing his feature film based on the world explored in various Blizzard games. Hearthstone is huge now, but that’s another Warcraft title. There have been rumors of development on a film based on Blizzard’s Diablo film series, and we don’t know where those rights lie.
Regardless, we’ve seen a few examples of game publishers taking control of film and TV developments based on games, and Activision following suit would make sense (for them, at least), even if the only goal is making a Call of Duty TV series.