Ubisoft Reflections

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Ubisoft Reflections Limited
Formerly
  • Reflections (1984–1998)
  • Reflections Interactive Limited (1998–2006)
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
Founded1984; 38 years ago (1984)
Founders
  • Martin Edmondson
  • Nicholas Chamberlain
HeadquartersPartnership House, ,
England
Key people
Lisa Opie (managing director)
Products
Number of employees
240+[1] (2018)
Parent
Websitereflections.ubisoft.com

Ubisoft Reflections Limited (formerly Reflections and later Reflections Interactive Limited) is a British video game developer and a studio of Ubisoft based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Founded in 1984 by Martin Edmondson and Nicholas Chamberlain, the studio focuses on racing games and it is best known for creating the award-winning Driver series. Reflections was acquired by GT Interactive in 1998 and sold to Ubisoft in 2006. The company works on AAA games in close cooperation with sister studio Ubisoft Leamington.

History[edit]

Martin Edmondson and Nicholas Chamberlain started developing games for the BBC Micro under the moniker "Reflections" in 1984.[2] Their first game was a Paperboy clone called Paper-Round that took two years to develop but was never released.[3] While working on that game, they started Ravenskull which would be their first published game, released in 1986 by Superior Software. This was followed by Codename: Droid and an Acorn Electron conversion of Stryker's Run in 1987.[3]

The name Reflections was first used for their 1989 hit Amiga game, Shadow of the Beast, published by Psygnosis which spawned two sequels. The original Amiga game was partially written by Paul Howarth,[4] and started out life as a parallax test of the blitter of the Amiga's Agnus chip; Paul later went on to work for Deep Red Games, a UK video game company based in Milton Keynes. A number of other Amiga and Atari ST games followed including Ballistix (1989), Awesome (1990) and Brian the Lion (1994). In 1995, they became known for Destruction Derby, which was critically acclaimed for its realistic physics and destruction, which later become Reflections' specialty. Due to the success, the game had four more sequels over the years.

On 9 January 1999, it was announced that Reflections had been acquired by GT Interactive in 1998, for a reported 2.7 million shares of common stock, which was valued at around US$14.17 million.[5][6] Reflections became well known for the game Driver, which was inspired by '70s cop shows like Starsky and Hutch and movies like Bullitt and The Driver. It has been followed by four sequels and four spin-offs. The company was subsequently renamed Reflections Interactive.

In 2004, studio founder Martin Edmondson left Reflections after the concepting stage of Driver: Parallel Lines, and sued Atari due to "constructive unfair dismissal as a result of Reflections alleged repudiatory breach of a contract of employment that necessitated Mr. Edmondson's resignation."[7] Martin's brother, Gareth Edmondson, took his place as the studio manager. In July 2006, Atari announced that it had transferred all of the staff and most of the assets of Reflections Interactive Limited, including the intellectual property and technology rights to the Driver series, to Ubisoft for US$24 million.[8]

Gareth Edmondson, studio manager, left Reflections after more than a ten-year presence at the studio in November 2011, two months after the launch of Driver: San Francisco. The studio was then headed by Pauline Jacquey from February 2014.[9] The studio was then headed by Richard Blenkinsop until they left the company in 2021. Lisa Opie was appointed as managing director in May 2021.[10]

May 2013, Ubisoft Reflections announced that they are working on a new game, Ubisoft planned to announce the game at E3 2013.[11] On 10 June 2013, during an Ubisoft's press conference it was revealed that Reflections was working with developer Ivory Tower on the racing game The Crew, which was later released in December 2014.[12]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Publisher(s)
1986 Ravenskull Acorn Electron, BBC Micro Superior Software
1987 Codename: Droid Acorn Electron, BBC Micro
Stryker's Run Acorn Electron
1989 Shadow of the Beast Amiga Psygnosis
Ballistix Amiga, Atari ST
1990 Shadow of the Beast II Amiga, Atari ST
Awesome Amiga, Atari ST
1992 Shadow of the Beast III Amiga
1994 Brian the Lion Amiga
1995 Destruction Derby MS-DOS, PlayStation, Sega Saturn
1996 Destruction Derby 2 MS-DOS, PlayStation, Microsoft Windows
1998 Thunder Truck Rally MS-DOS, PlayStation, Microsoft Windows
1999 Driver Macintosh, PlayStation, Microsoft Windows GT Interactive
2000 Driver 2 PlayStation Infogrames
2002 Stuntman PlayStation 2
2004 Driv3r PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Atari
2006 Driver: Parallel Lines PlayStation 2, Xbox
2007 Wii, Microsoft Windows Ubisoft
Driver 76 PlayStation Portable
2008 Emergency Heroes Wii
2009 Monster 4x4: Stunt Racer Wii
2011 Driver: San Francisco[13] macOS, PlayStation 3, Wii, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
Just Dance 3 PlayStation 3
2012 Just Dance 4 PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360
2013 Just Dance 2014 PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2014 Watch Dogs[14] PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Just Dance 2015 PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One
The Crew PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox 360
2015 Grow Home[15] Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
Assassin's Creed Syndicate[14] Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2016 Grow Up Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
The Division Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Watch Dogs 2 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Just Dance 2017 PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, Microsoft Windows
2017 Nintendo Switch
Ghost Recon Wildlands [14] Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Atomega[16] Microsoft Windows
South Park: The Fractured but Whole Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Ode Microsoft Windows
2018 Starlink: Battle for Atlas Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2019 Tom Clancy's The Division 2 [17] PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Stadia
2020 Watch Dogs: Legion [18] PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Microsoft Windows, Stadia

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Studio profile" (PDF). ubistatic-a.akamaihd.net. 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Which Games are Made in the UK?". Kotaku UK.
  3. ^ a b Profile, A&B Computing, October 1988
  4. ^ Kenreck, Todd. "Why 'Shadow of The Beast' Is A Massive Cult Hit". Forbes.
  5. ^ "GT Interactive adds another software developer to its stable". ARN.
  6. ^ "GT Buys UK Dev House".
  7. ^ Gibson, Ellie (27 February 2006). "Atari reaches settlement with ex-Reflections boss". GamesIndustry. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
  8. ^ Carless, Simon (13 July 2006). "Atari Sells Driver, Reflections To Ubisoft". Gamasutra. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  9. ^ Rachel Weber (26 February 2014). "On Reflections: First interview with the Ubisoft studio's new MD". GamesIndustry.biz. Eurogamer. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Lisa Opie appointed managing director at Ubisoft Reflections and Leamington Studios | GamesIndustry.biz".
  11. ^ "Ubisoft Reflections Working on a Unannounced Game, Reveal at E3". Joystiq. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Ubisoft Reveals the Crew a New Racer From Ivory Tower and Reflections at E3". Edge Online. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  13. ^ https://www.nme.com/news/gaming-news/watch-dogs-reportedly-started-as-driver-reboot-before-ubisoft-intervened-2947582
  14. ^ a b c "Games developer Ubisoft Reflections signals North East expansion with office deal - Business Live".
  15. ^ https://www.mcvuk.com/development-news/time-for-reflections-a-chat-with-ubisofts-lisa-opie/
  16. ^ https://www.mcvuk.com/development-news/time-for-reflections-a-chat-with-ubisofts-lisa-opie/
  17. ^ https://www.mcvuk.com/development-news/time-for-reflections-a-chat-with-ubisofts-lisa-opie/
  18. ^ https://www.mcvuk.com/development-news/time-for-reflections-a-chat-with-ubisofts-lisa-opie/

External links[edit]