Ubisoft has flat-out acquired the name “Tom Clancy” so the game publisher can use the name “on a perpetual basis” (read: forever) without having to pay royalties. The name/brand acquisition applies to videogames, of course, but also to related books, movies and merchandising products.
The price of this all-cash acquisition is not currently disclosed. The royalty savings generated by this acquisition are estimated to have an average positive impact on Ubisoft’s operating income of a minimum of 5 million Euros per year.
“The future of our industry lies in our capacity to create and develop brands that captivate consumers and that present a myriad of opportunities for the full spectrum of entertainment, be it video games, books, movies or other media,” said Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer at Ubisoft. “The most recent example of such value creation through brand management is the EndWar book, based on the video game story, which has been in The New York Times’ top-10 Paperback Mass Market Fiction bestseller list for the last four weeks. [W]e will take the Tom Clancy game brand to the next level of the global entertainment industry.”
With Microsoft, Sony and EA going the way of “entertainment” rather than just games, Ubisoft’s move is a logical step? But is it a good one for the industry? The answer to that question may not surface for many years. Let’s just hope it doesn’t dilute what makes videogames a special medium in the first place.