NEWS - Wednesday, July 23, 2003


Ubi Soft Purchases SOFTIMAGE/XSI

Ubi Soft Purchases SOFTIMAGE/XSI to Create Advanced Film Quality Animation and Effects for New Generation of High-End Games July 23, 2003--Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID), today announced that Ubi Soft (R)Entertainment, one of the world's largest and most successful video game producers and publishers, has purchased SOFTIMAGE(R)/XSI(R), the industry's leading nonlinear 3-D production environment. Already, Ubi Soft is relying on the SOFTIMAGE/XSI software to develop film-quality cinematics and high-end animation for upcoming titles including the widely anticipated multi-platform game, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time(TM), the latest title in the multi-million selling Prince of Persia(R) series. In an era where gamers are increasingly demanding engaging, cinema-quality productions, Ubi Soft, which has grown in annual revenue from EUR96.4m to EUR453m in the past 5 years, is planning to set new standards in interactive entertainment by immersing players in life-like environments with a film-quality visual experience and realistic ambient sounds. To achieve this, Ubi Soft recently created a new cinematics division, placing the SOFTIMAGE/XSI environment at the core of its production pipeline to create high-end animation and graphics work. "The mandate of our team is to create games with the visual qualities of a movie, but without the luxury of a typical movie budget. We chose SOFTIMAGE/XSI because it was the only software that could deliver the superior visual quality we needed, within the demanding time and budgetary constraints we faced," commented Ron Martin, director of cinematics at Ubi Soft. "After a few short weeks of use, we found XSI to foster a greater level of creativity and collaboration, increasing our productivity and reducing our typical project turnaround time. And as gamers will soon see, it has also enabled us to create a breathtaking visual experience." The SOFTIMAGE/XSI software is already playing a key role in one of Ubi Soft's upcoming titles, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time(TM). This latest installment of the multi-million selling Prince of Persia(R) series of games is credited with changing the face of computer gaming in the 1990s by introducing lifelike animation and story-driven action. The franchise was one of the first to gain success based on an appealing human-lead character and a dramatic storyline. The newest title, scheduled for release in Q4 2003, will continue the series' action-packed game play tradition and will feature never before seen film-quality graphics and effects and over 12.5 minutes of cinematics. Exploiting many of the key features that the SOFTIMAGE/XSI nonlinear 3-D production environment is renowned for --including render passes, reference models, the animation mixer and the integrated compositor-- the cinematics team at Ubi Soft is creating a totally new mood, different lighting and mystical effects, reviving the action adventure genre. Unveiled at E3 2003, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time(TM), won Best Action/Adventure Game by the prestigious Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2003 as well as Best Overall Game of the Show for PlayStation 2 by both IGN.com and GameSpy. The game was also named Game of the Show by PSE2 Magazine and One of the Top 20 Showstoppers by GamePro Magazine. "Our objective at Ubi Soft is to establish ourselves as one of the top five companies in interactive entertainment by 2005. To reach this goal, we are developing a portfolio of strong international brands and optimizing our production costs," said Martin Tremblay, president of Ubi Soft in Montreal. "SOFTIMAGE/XSI and the production support provided by Softimage are helping us to achieve these goals." Founded in 1986, Ubi Soft's portfolio of titles includes the Myst(R) and Rayman(R) series, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(TM), Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six(R), The Settlers(R) and The Prince of Persia(R) series. "Ubi Soft is aiming to be a driving force behind the convergence of cinema and interactive entertainment and we are honored by their selection of SOFTIMAGE/XSI to be a core part of that initiative," said Michael Stojda, managing director of Softimage. "Their purchase is a clear endorsement and signal to the game industry of Softimage's focus and commitment to continually deliver innovative technology and productivity enhancing tools for the games industry. It also demonstrates the stunning quality and return on investment SOFTIMAGE/XSI provides - whether used to developing hit games titles, feature films, or helping to streamline the process when the two converge."
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