Ubisoft believes that new 3D film Avatar – and its subsequent game adaptation – can create a similar buzz to the first Harry Potter movie.
In one of his first interviews since joining Ubisoft as marketing director from Microsoft, Murray Pannell said that the title – which will appear in 3D both in the cinema and on games console – had the potential to be an “incredible entertainment phenomenon”.
“Avatar looks set to be a world-changing kind of cinema given its pedigree and elements like the 3D,” Pannell told MCV.
“It reminds me of my experience at EA, working on the original Harry Potter game – which was an incredible entertainment phenomenon.”
Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, the first in the movie series, was released in 2001. It made $90.3 million during its first weekend in the US, breaking the record for highest opening weekend of all time. The film went on to make £66.1 million in the UK, making it the highest-grossing film of all-time – a record only broken by Mama Mia since.
“[Games tie-ins of] properties with one visionary in charge can be really successful,” added Pannell. “Avatar has movie director James Cameron, and Potter also had one person ultimately in charge – JK Rowling, who everyone was terrified of disappointing. That can give you real focus.”
James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game is due for release at the end of this year on PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, PSP and DS.