This isn’t exactly the sort of thing that will have any real impact on you or I, but Ubisoft just sent out a press release touting that the company has “acquired the Tom Clancy name for games, related books, movies, and merchandising.”
From there it devolves into a sweet mess of words like “brand” and “leverage.”
Anyway, this means that Clancy (the man, not the brand) has taken one fat payment from Ubi, rather than collect royalties on every single thing they put out. Perhaps, now that he’s in his 60s, he decided he’d rather have it all right now, rather than keep getting smaller regular checks.
Then again, now that I’m reading the man’s Wikipedia page, I’m not sure what to think. Apparently even his books are licensing deals, with several lines actually being authored by different writers, yet it still has the Clancy name on it. Sounds like the guy wrote some stuff early on, made his name, and has been coasting ever since. At some point you have to ask why, exactly, Ubisoft would care enough about this brand to spend all that money on it. It may have made sense in the beginning, but now that Ubi’s established itself as a leader in the world of tactical and stealth action, they could drop the Clancy name, start a set of new franchises that don’t involve rainbows or Sam Fisher, and do just as well. Maybe now that the company also controls the book and movie action, it makes more business sense or something.
To turn this into a question, do any of you even care about Tom Clancy? Does the Tom Clancy “brand” attract you to games like EndWar? Or could Ubisoft have saved all that money and come up with some other name that they could use as shorthand for “realistic tactical game?”
Maybe I should start working on Jeff Gerstmann’s Book About Three Guys With Guns Who Fight Terror In Nevada so that, someday, I can trade my name in for a new one and get paid in the process. I think I’ll go with “William Mitchell.” That sounds pretty tough and patriotic.