One of Ubisoft’s most noted indie releases was helped to release by the personal support of the publisher’s CEO Yves Guillemot.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War was released on a number of platforms last year, but faced a struggle from the off when trying to compete for attention with big-money triple-A titles within Ubisoft’s hierarchy.
However, designer Yoan Fanise said it was the personal support right from the top that saw the game cross the finish line.
"Our luck was that Yves Guillemot, the CEO of Ubisoft himself, was emotionally touched by the story. He was a constant support for us,” Fanise told Kotaku.
"You can easily see how, business-wise, games like Valiant Hearts were nothing compared to the revenue earned from triple-A franchises. Add in the fact the game’s themes and its artistic approach weren’t necessarily ‘sexy’ for marketing and financial types and you can understand why it’s rare to see those kind of games reaching the public.
"For example, the First World War itself is not a theme with a very wide appeal. It’s even less appealing in 2D, and even less again with no gun in your hands, so we had to constantly be knocking on doors to even exist alongside Ubisoft’s blockbusters.
"This is the eternal dilemma for something that is both an art and a business at the same time. The movie industry has the exact same problem, but is more mature and is often willing to take bigger risks. I think it’s time for our industry to grew up and be less scary about original ideas, or trying new things. Every genre has a potential audience, and not everything has to always be about jumping or killing."
Ubisoft earlier this year released another indie curiosity, Grow Home, on Steam. A console version has been touted, although the game will have to prove its commercial worth first.