Which Series Will Ubisoft Bring to Netflix?

Which Series Will Ubisoft Bring to Netflix?

Apparently Ubisoft is in talks for a series at Netflix, but which one?

According to a report by Reuters, Ubisoft is in talks with Netflix to adapt one of its major franchises. Ubisoft working with Netflix on another potential series makes sense. The company has been full-on in the adaptation business with Ubisoft Motion Pictures, creating the Rabbids animated series, the upcoming Assassin's Creed film, and the forthcoming Splinter Cell and The Division films.

Activision Blizzard Studios is already on the Netflix train with the successful Skylanders Academy animated series. Netflix upped its original content creation budget to $6 billion in 2017, so there's room for Ubisoft to get in on that action.

So the question is, which series are Ubisoft likely to adapt?

Assassin's Creed

Ubisoft has already produced a feature film based on the series and the property is open to expansion. There's room here to create an amazing anthology series, focusing on a different assassin and time period each season. My thought is that would infringe on ground that can be used in the games and movies (given the success of the first film). Further, it'd probably be damned expensive to produce. I'm guessing AC will remain a film franchise only.

Prince of Persia

Take the expense of producing a period piece, add in that Disney already made one failed shot at a film franchise, and then end on the fact that Ubisoft doesn't seem interested in The Prince right now. I'm going to say it's probably not Prince of Persia.

Far Cry

The issue here isn't producing the series itself, it's asking, "What makes Far Cry interesting as a series?" Far Cry is about one person trapped in an unknown situation, forced to learn how to survive. The franchise has settled into a series of mechanics that you can call "Far Cry", but the story framework isn't interesting in and of itself. Ubisoft could do it, but I think the shot is better taken on something else.

Ghost Recon/Rainbow Six

Likewise, Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six are series that Ubisoft could easily adapt, but don't come across as interesting purely based on concept. A team of special forces soldiers doing badass stuff around the globe is a pretty basic setting, meaning it would rely fully on characters. Why not go with something more interesting?

The Division

This would be higher on my list if there wasn't a film on the way already. It has all the benefits of Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six, with a straightforward and easily understandable premise, but the setting itself is somewhat interesting. New York City is trapped in the midst of a smallpox pandemic and our heroes are members of a nebulous secret force tasked with fixing the problem.

It takes place in a city, sets are broken down homes and office buildings, costumes are modern-day and relatively straightforward. The overall price tag is more manageable than some of the other series. You have strong potential for drama in the city's current power struggle, between the Division, NYC authorities, and the various roving gangs.

Even better, once the series is up and running, Ubisoft can do what Trion Worlds did with Defiance: have actors and events from the show intersect with further content patches for the game.

The Crew

This would be an intriguing series. Think Fast and Furious: The TV Show. My guess is such a show might be prohibitively expensive, what with the various locations and car stunts. That said, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is producing a Fast and Furious-style TV show for Fox called Boost Unit, which is part cop show and part car chases. Netflix could theoretically do the same, so this is high on my list of adaptation potentials.

Watch Dogs

I think The Crew would be more interesting, but this is probably high on Ubisoft's list. The publisher wants Watch Dogs to be its second pillar behind Assassin's Creed and has been trying to get the film off the ground for some time now. The film was first announced in 2013 and Ubisoft reiterated that it was still being planned at E3 this year, but it has no director, no screenwriter, and no star yet.

Watch Dogs the show has the same problems that Far Cry has. There are a certain set of ideas that define Watch Dogs as a game, but those aspects are rather rote without the underlying gameplay. The Netflix series would essentially be the story of a hacker against an evil organization that conspired to wrong them in some manner. That could be interesting, but it's all down to execution. And the overlap with Mr. Robot is strong.

Watch Dogs has the benefit of coming across as a straight-forward action series. It's all real-world sets and costumes. The action can be hand-to-hand combat, gun fights, or car chases. It's the kind of conspiracy-laden show that can be built upon season after season. Think Burn Notice, with a hacker-inspired bent and the Watch Dogs name.

I think this is the likely winner in Ubisoft's stable.

Which series do you think Ubisoft is adapting with Netflix? What would you like to see?

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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