This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

come back with a lot of great creations and brands for everybody.” Part of this ‘turning point’ is thanks to free-to-play. Ubisoft has spent considerable sums of money building the likes of Howrseand The Settlers Online in this space, and is now starting to see some decent returns. But why has it taken so long to generate revenue from this sector? Guillemot says: “Those worlds are a little different. You have to create MMOs, in a way. Games that will last for a long time, that will need servers and are made differently. There are advantages and disadvantages. It takes a while, but once you are in, you are in for a long time.”


Ubisoft’s success with free-to-play and downloads meant that digital accounted for eight per cent of its overall revenues.

But it was Ubisoft’s retail offerings that stole the headlines during its E3 showcase, with major casual brands such as Just Dance 4 announced alongside big core titles such as Splinter Cell Blacklist. It is the core games market that has Guillemot most excited. Ubisoft has one of its most comprehensive core line-ups to-date, with the firm re-entering the shooter space with Ghost Recon and Far Cry, alongside its ‘biggest ever’ Assassin’s Creedand the aforementioned Splinter Cell. “We look at the market going down, but when you look at Xbox 360 and PS3, that has been growing. The Wii is going down quickly, but the 360 and PS3 will still be stable this year, and last year it grew five per cent, and the previous year by 18 per cent. It is still a strong market. “At the end of the cycle, we have seen that it is the big blockbusters that are achieving enormous sales, and the small products are doing nothing. It is competitive, but it is great for the big product.” In contrast, Ubisoft revealed conservative expectations for its casual business in its latest financial report. Even predicting that its multi-million selling Just Dance franchise is likely to dip over the course of the next 12 months. But Guillemot adds that what he tells shareholders and what he expects, can actually be very different. “We did so well last year, that to do even better this year puts a lot

of pressure on all of our teams,” he explains.

“But that’s what we have asked them to do. What we expect and what we put in our financials are different. We expect the casual market to keep growing, but we want to be prudent on our numbers.” Does that mean Just Danceisn’t a series set for decline? “We have been dancing for thousands of years, so there’s no reason it would slow down. And Just Dance 4is coming on Wii U also, and that will be a new experience again.”

UBI LOVES U Ubisoft likes to jump in with both feet when it comes to new hardware launches. And that’s exactly what it is doing with Wii U.

The firm is planning to release eight Wii U games during the machine’s first six months on the market, including hit Wii brands as Rabbids, Just Danceand Your Shape. But is Wii U really going to be another console for the casual gamer? Nintendo has been stressing the importance of appealing to core fans this time around. So what audience is Ubisoft expecting at launch? “The key thing is that we are really behind Wii U, with lots of very high quality games that take advantage of the machine,’ says Guillemot. “There’s two ways to

play. The fact that you have now the Wii Remote on one side and the tablet controller on the other, is going to give the ability to play different games in front of the TV. “We are creating games for gamers, so we have an Assassin’s Creedand ZombiU. And on the other side we have games for the families, so Just Dance 4, Sports Connection, Your Shape, and Marvel Avengers. We have a good diversity of products on Wii U.”

I see a new energy in the industry at the moment, where lots of people are seeing the potential of all these new opportunities. Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft

A part of Ubisoft’s current success has been its innate ability to defy the rule that ‘third party publishers can’t succeed on Nintendo consoles’. How is it that Ubisoft can perform so well with Nintendo, when many of its rivals are struggling? “We love Nintendo. Our creators have been playing Nintendo games for ages and they love what they have come out with. They also generally bring out machines that have new possibilities for gamers. So we can be innovative, and that is what makes our creators very attracted to Nintendo’s machines.”


Ubisoft’s ambition is no-longer to beat EA to become the No.1 boxed games publisher. It has set its sights much higher. This is a publisher with a potential blockbuster on every platform, from browsers to Wii U. And it is a company that has its eyes on the next generation, too. In discussing the next PlayStation and Xbox, Guillemot mentions the need for improved social elements, the capability of selling in-game items, and gamers’ desire “to do what they do from any device anywhere.” Like with all new hardware, Ubisoft can’t wait to get started.

“I see a new energy in the industry

at the moment, where lots of people are seeing the potential of all these new opportunities,” says Guillemot. “I think the industry is reshaping for growth, and will be very strong in the next ten years.”

Splinter Cell Blacklist was one of Ubisoft’s big E3 reveals

June 8th 2012


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52