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Novel approach: Ubisoft looks to produce books in-house with new publishing unit

Ubisoft has announced the launch of Ubisoft Publishing, a new in-house book division that will be producing novels based on the publisher’s game franchises.

The first of these novels, Assassin’s Creed Heresy, is written by Star Trek and Star Wars author Christie Golden and will be available on November 15 — right around the time a new Assassin’s Creed video game would typically release. The novel follows the same dual-setting format of the games, shifting between a “modern day Templar” and a “14th-century narrative involving Joan of Arc.”

Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide, a book containing information on the settings and characters of the series, will also be available on the same day.

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“With this team, we are owning creative control from initial concept to print, selecting the writers we work with, editing, artwork, the look and feel of the jacket, etc.” says Ubisoft President Laurent Detoc in the announcement. “We know our brands and their individual stories very intimately, so we’re leveraging our in-house expertise to continue to propel our brands and explore and dive into narratives that will be compelling to fans and new readers alike.”

Ubisoft has released several books based on its properties through other publishers in the past, based not only on the Assassin’s Creed series, but also on the Tom Clancy’s franchise. Splinter Cell alone has received seven novels, with all but one of them written under the pen name “David Michaels.” We’re still waiting on that gripping Rabbids novel … actually, that already exists, too.

The move to have more creative control over the written word comes after Ubisoft launched Ubisoft Motion Pictures to create films based on properties like Watch Dogs and The Division. The company’s first feature film under the Ubisoft Motion Pictures umbrella, Assassin’s Creed, is scheduled to hit theaters on December 21.