Tired of hearing that big development budgets and giant teams are here to say? Well, tough luck says Ubisoft’s Christine Burgess-Quémard – things are going to get even bigger during the following games generations.
In an exclusive Q&A with Develop, Ubisoft’s executive director of worldwide studios has laid out the firm’s ambitious development expansion strategy, saying she will grow the organisation via recruitment and acquisition.
Speaking in the first of part of an interview available to read here, Burgess-Quémard outlined the Ubisoft growth plan, which has seen the publisher become the only big games firms with multiple interests in key emerging markets.
She said that "growing our existing base and acquisition as well" was the top line expansion strategy.
"We’re looking at regions where we can find a good mix between the talent, the education level and cost. We have to find the right balance between the right talent and the right price. That’s where our challenge is."
Ubisoft has recently opened studios in Singapore, China, Eastern Europe and Morocco, attracted by lower costs in each region and close ties with local educators.
She added: "But we’re not limited to Eastern Europe. We’re looking at Asia very much as well because we have to be competitive. It’s becoming a bit more difficult in Eastern Europe because those countries are now joining Europe [the EU], which gives the same issues we have in the UK and in other ‘established’ countries.
"It’s very competitive out there and the development costs are going to get higher and higher in future – they’re going to be huge, in fact. When we receive the next generation of consoles, it’s probably going to take teams of 250 to 300 people for just one project. We have to find some places where we can still develop with a competitive edge."
Her comments on expanding the company by acquisition follow comments by Ubi CEO Yves Guillemot that he has a $1bn+ warchest to acquire other games companies.