Ubisoft is one of the world’s best-known names in the video gaming industry and this is not by chance. The company has created some of the most memorable franchises in the video gaming industry, creating fantastic mechanics, outstanding visuals, and entire worlds that are simply too good to pass on.

Whether you are a fan of Assassin’s Creed, Rainbow Six Siege, Far Cry, Prince of Persia, or Tom Clancy, the name Ubisoft certainly stands synonymous with quality video gaming to you. Today, we will trace the origins of the company and how Ubisoft went on to become one of the most formidable companies in the world of video gaming. 

Tracing The Origins Of Ubisoft

The story of Ubisoft is perhaps not one of the ground-breaking innovation, but it is certainly one of vision – the vision to create, to succeed, and to create value for others. The company was founded by five entrepreneurial siblings who decided to pursue computing and started the business. Little did they know that they would go on to become one of the world’s biggest gaming conglomerates and a source of French pride.

All of the Guillemot family’s siblings—Christian, Claude, Gérard, Michel, and Yves—had an entrepreneurial spirit, and they soon discovered that there were several opportunities to put their business education to use. They got off to a somewhat uninspired start when they realized that they could make money by purchasing computing components from the United Kingdom and reselling them on the French market.

The company that preceded Ubisoft was Guillemot Informatique and it was founded in 1984. Two years after they launched it, they could see that sales were going up and things were indeed doing well enough. However, this wasn’t enough. On March 28, 1986, the Guillemot family decided to launch the Ubisoft brand. 

The words “ubi” and “soft” simply stood for ubiquitous software which reflected their desire to move past the selling of computer parts, and plunge deeper into the creation of actual software, video gaming products, and other information technologies products. Ubisoft, though, wasn’t done and hardware was hardly what the Guillemot family had in mind. 

Exploring the Video Game History of Ubisoft

The beginning was definitely strong for the company with its founders going from salespeople to the creators of some of the earliest video games in France. For example, Ubisoft launched Zombi, Ciné Clap, Fer et Flamme, Masque, and Graphic City, games that helped the company find its rhythm and place in the video gaming industry.

Zombi was a particular success in France, and the game had sold over 5,000 copies by January 1987, marking a huge success for the company.  Encouraged by their ability to produce quality and popular games,  the Guillemot family decided to go even further. The family understood that it could create and distribute games just as it had done with computer parts.

Ubisoft made the choice to import Elite Software’s Commando (also known as Space Invasion) and localize it for the French market. This was a wise decision that resulted in the sale of 15,000 copies and unmistakably showed the company’s capacity to succeed as both a middleman and an independent product producer. Due to the business mentality of Ubisoft’s founders, they were able to immediately get well-known talent to collaborate with them.

Six of the most skilled self-taught and schooled developers in the industry were employed by the business in 1988, and over time, they would grow to become its most valuable assets.

Among them was Michel Ancel, a young animator who was and still is one of the greatest of his generation, and Patrick Daher who created Zombi, the first game the company released, and helped the company establish its name. But it goes beyond that.

Ubisoft’s Expansion

Ubisoft did not limit itself to the French market and went on to create and expand its reach to other countries. It also released some of the most iconic franchises in the industry and some of these including Rayman, which was released in 1995 and is still going strong today, and Prince of Persia, which is one of the longest-running franchises in the industry. 

The company also released the first two games in the Far Cry franchise in 2004 and 2005 and this was a milestone for the company. The Far Cry games introduced the world to the open-world style of gaming and the company has since released several more games in the franchise. Ubisoft also released Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six series in 1998 and this was a major success for the company; the series is still going strong today. 

Final Thoughts 

Founded by the Guillemot family, Ubisoft began as a computer parts reseller and has since become one of the top video game companies in the world. Through their efforts, they helped cultivate a vibrant video gaming culture in France and even inspired the development of many of today’s popular French online casino games. With their ambition and determination, the Guillemots were able to realize their dream and create an international gaming powerhouse. Today, Ubisoft is renowned for its world-class franchises, enjoyed by millions of gamers across the globe.

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