Creative director Patrick Plourde did not want to work on 2012 hit FPS Far Cry 3, but the game's acclaim allowed him to develop the profitable smaller-scale title Child of Light.
Speaking at the GameON: Finance conference, Plourde said he was told he would be able to experiment with his own creative vision after work on Far Cry was complete, according to GamesIndustry.
"I can't explain everything, but the main reason I got greenlit on the project was because I had carte blanche for making Far Cry 3," he said. "I didn't want to make Far Cry 3, but they said 'Pat, if you do that and help build that brand, we're going to give you a free shot at the game you want'."
Child of Light is a prime example of Ubisoft's initiative to give key creative personnel the chance to experiment with personal projects. Yesterday, Far Cry 4's creative director Alex Hutchinson revealed he's about to embark on a similar endeavour of his own.
Crucially, Child of Light shows that the risks Ubisoft takes on smaller-scale projects sometimes pays off. The game has been turning a profit since April, Plourde revealed.
"It's not as profitable as Assassin's Creed, but it's profitable enough that we would have been able to fund a sequel," he said.
"Or if it had been my company, I would be driving a Ferrari and doing donuts."