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The Globe and Mail

Ubi Workshop puts game art in the spotlight

Whenever I tour a game maker's studio I always keep an eye on the walls, which often play host to beautiful concept art that can't be seen anywhere else.

Realizing that game journalists aren't the only ones who might like an opportunity to view their artists' work up close and in person, Ubisoft recently launched a website where fans can purchase replicas of game art to hang on their walls. It's being run by Ubi Workshop, an internal group at Ubisoft Montreal that takes care of promoting Ubisoft assets in media other than games. Another of their projects you may have heard of is a new Assassin's Creed comic book.

Four limited edition prints of art that helped inform the look and feel of Assassin's Creed and Red Steel 2 were made available for the site's launch. Ranging in price from $75 to $90, these 15-by-22.5-inch prints are being produced in limited quantity (between 60 and 150 each), so interested game fans will need to act quickly if they want an Ubi painting to add a little sophistication to their game dens.

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An Ubisoft spokesperson told me that more will art will come with time. He also mentioned that in the Ubi Workshop announcement video (see sidebar) you can see a concept image from a game that ended up being cancelled. He added that this might be the only way some projects ever end up seeing the light of day.

The next item you're likely to see in the online store's catalogue is a coffee table-style art book composed of original works commissioned by artists outside the Ubisoft fold. Already in production, Ubi Workshop sent out an open call to professional and amateur artists to create works under the theme "assassin." The public has yet to learn which works made it in, but some of the rejected pieces for the book can be seen here.

Ubisoft fans who are serious about their game art collections will want to bookmark Ubi Workshop's new site and check back occasionally to see what other imaginative goodies are up for grabs.

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