Ubisoft CEO reaffirms importance of third party studios

Ubisoft CEO reaffirms importance of third party studios
Michael French

By Michael French

June 20th 2007 at 2:45PM

Guillemot discusses Wii title hunt, IP co-ownership and tax breaks

Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot has told Develop that the publisher is keenly hunting new Wii titles as it continues to court studios external to its vast internal development.

When it comes to Wii, he explained that Ubisoft has "tried to focus as much energy resource as we can on the format because it encourages new ways to play and new players into the market. We have charged the company to really address that machine well so we have a large number of games for the Wii and we want to do many more."

When asked about whether they will be internally-made games, he simply said "both" adding that the company will continue its tack of working with third-party studios, as it has done with Gearbox for Brothers in Arms and Free Radical and its game Haze.

He explained: "It’s really important that we always work with third-party developers because we simply learn a lot from them and we can give them a lot of support – I think there is a real exchange between them and us which is beneficial for both parties."

What's even more beneficial it seems is being able to tempt developers to working with Ubisoft by letting them co-own IP - something many other publishers refuse to allow.

Said Guillemot: "What we’re trying to do now with developers is make sure we work long term – in some cases that means co-owning the brand, because that will ensure a better product and a better relationship.

"It is different to other publishers, but I think there are good alternatives to their approach. We won’t always do that, but when we link destiny with a developer we have the same interests. We want to make sure the game succeeds in the long-term, and [with co-ownership of IP] you can then work as a team to make sure that happens. For some games, of course, it’s not something you can do – a developer might want to quickly make money or be signed up for a property someone else owns. But when you link your destiny both parties need to create a good product together because both companies will succeed."

He also briefly addressed the concerns some other third party studios have over the company's decision to further accelerate the growth of its teams in locations such as Quebec and Morocco off the back of government tax breaks: he explained that all such activity was the result of Ubisoft simply being "smart with its money".