Ubisoft are probably the best all round game publisher at the moment so it is great to get insight into their inner workings. This interview is of Laurent Detoc, Ubisoft North America president and appeared in SFGate.com.
Their emphasis on organic growth is fantastic. Far better to make something exactly right than to buy something someone else has made: “I don’t think we will focus on acquisitions unless it makes sense for us we’re not a reactive company, we’re builders.”
Casual games contributed an impressive quarter of Ubisoft’s revenue: “We feel that’s a good opportunity for us. People want games that are more accessible and less intimidating. We have been exploring a lot in that space and we think we will have an advantage as that group gets bigger.”
Though casual games are cheaper to develop than hardcore games they still need marketing. Zero marketing = zero sales. “The margins on these games are good when you look at development, but it takes a lot of marketing dollars. It’s like packaged goods. You have to think about marketing, retail space, branding.”
And as for the Wii, Ubisoft have the same problem as other non Nintendo developers with it generating just 10% of their revenue.
All fascinating stuff, especially the marketing needs of casual games, something many casual publishers do not appreciate.