When Assassins’s Creed was released last year, it became the fastest-selling new IP in five year. And with a 36 per cent rise in profits in the last financial year, plus the release of Haze this week, there are no signs of the pace slowing down for the firm.
When MCV asked Ubisoft’s Darren Bowen what the publishers’s recent MCV Award win meant to the team, he said:
“To win the Best Sales Team award means a lot to all of us as everyone in the industry votes. It is a great testament to all the hard work the team has put in, not just this year but over the last few years. We’re always trying to improve our services and to be recognised for this makes it worthwhile.
“I would like to think it was a number of factors that won us the award, including how we work with our partners and make the most out of our great line-up of products.”
Bowen admitted the team has had to conquer some thorny issues this year.
“At Ubisoft we had a number of challenges, but the biggest of all was our casual game brand: Games For Everyone. These titles are such a different proposition to our usual line- up that convincing buyers the range would guarantee good sales and consistently good sales was hard work.
“The Games For Everyone range has required a different approach from the sales and marketing teams here and also from the buyers.
"We’ve had to improve our internal forecasting systems, ordering stock and marketing plans – with constant marketing across the whole year. The results have certainly been worth it as we are currently the number one independent publisher on Nintendo DS with a 15 per cent share.”
Ubisoft faced stiff competition to win Best Sales Team, with the likes of THQ, Activision and EA also up for the award. But which of their competitors did the publisher admire most?
“The industry competition is always healthy but tough.
Nintendo has had a great year and you have to admire how it has grown the market and made games accessible to all. And that, despite Darren Gorton’s lack of hair!”
Bowen pinpointed the last 12 months as being an amazing time for the industry as a whole: “It was a phenomenal year and we’ve seen huge growth. This industry is the most exciting and enjoyable one out there, and we are also seeing fantastic results. Who could ask for more?”
So what’s next for Ubisoft? “As there are so many things happening at Ubisoft it would be difficult to pick just one, so I’m going to choose three.
"The biggest stories for me would be Tom Clancy moving into new genres with the upcoming launches of Hawx and End War, the launch of Far Cry 2 which is absolutely stunning, and the continued growth and success of our GFE range.”
Bowen left us with this thought: “Surprises wouldn’t be surprises if I told you about them, but you can expect that much more will be revealed at Ubidays at the end of May.”