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.