Just one day after it was announced Avatar 2 is going into production, Ubisoft has revealed that it's made a deal with Fox Interactive and James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment to create a 'cutting edge' game based in the Avatar universe. Massive Entertainment has been handed development duties, which are presumably well under way given the studio's last release was The Division back in March 2016.
The film remains the highest-grossing movie of all time, so there's no doubting consumers are familiar with the concept. However, much of its success will also depend on the upcoming Avatar 2, which is due to screen in December 2018, followed by Avatar 3 in December 2020. The second outing is due to enter full production this summer, which presumably triggered this announcement.
The first film borrowed heavily from games in its themes, especially the ability to take control of other lifeforms, which should then lend itself well to an actual video game release. Cameron was particularly impressed by Massive's Snowdrop engine, used in The Division, saying:
“What impressed me about Massive were the group’s passion for this project and the power of its Snowdrop engine. I believe Ubisoft’s team at Massive Entertainment are absolutely the right partners to bring the beauty and danger of Pandora to life.”
David Polfeldt, managing director at Massive Entertainment added: “James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment changed the way we think about immersive storytelling with the first Avatar. The ambition that they have for the forthcoming films and this game is really inspiring. It’s a privilege to work with them and we’re honoured that they’ve entrusted us to create an experience worthy of the Avatar name.”
It's unclear how Ubisoft and Fox will share publishing duties at present, but we'll bring you more on this story as it's announced. Thankfully, there's been no mention of 3D or VR so far.
To hear the Massive team talking about the game’s development, see the video below: