Ubisoft plans to revive the Driver franchise, the company announced today…with a live-action streaming series. Those sounds you just heard were millions of excited fans collectively scooting forward in their seats and then immediately slumping back in disappointment.
“Our mission at Ubisoft is to bring our games to life in new and exciting ways and create content set in the world, culture, and community of gaming,” said Danielle Kreinik, head of television development, Ubisoft Film & Television. “Working with Binge will allow us to bring a Driver series directly to the audience who is most passionate about seeing this franchise come to life.”
Driver first debuted on the original PlayStation in 1999 and quickly established itself as one of the first competent Grand Theft Auto competitors. Where the Rockstar Games series promoted unbridled violence and carnage that parodied the real world, however, Driver was a decidedly more reserved affair that focused on driving mechanics and car chases rather than intense gangland shootouts.
Several sequels would follow, most recently 2011’s Driver: San Francisco (the last mainline instalment in the series) and 2014’s Driver: Speedboat Paradise, a free-to-play mobile game. Watch Dogs, another popular Ubisoft franchise, reportedly started life as a Driver game before morphing into its own thing. Watch Dogs has since gone on to spawn a successful franchise of its own.
In 2021, a group of developers took matters into their own hands by releasing The Driver Syndicate, a spiritual successor inspired by the Driver franchise’s first two entries. While far from the full-fledged Driver game many wanted, it’s miles ahead of what Ubisoft is doing with the series, which sadly continues to gather dust somewhere in the studio’s archives.
The live-action Driver series will be available exclusively on Binge, a streaming service dedicated to video game-based shows. Both are scheduled to launch in 2022.