Speaking at the Leipzig Games Convention in Germany, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has predicted that the video games market will grow by 50 percent over the next four years, thanks to the ongoing expansion beyond hardcore gamers and into the casual market.
"There are so many new customers to the business; this is going to grow the market tremendously. I expect the market to grow by 50 percent in the next four years," said Guillemot in an interview with Reuters. "It's a very exciting time for all the developers and publishers.”
Referring to the recently announced Cranium Kabookii, Guillemot suggested that games aimed at families, older players and women would account for the majority of the growth. He also indicated that the casual games business was “extremely profitable”, due to the low production costs, and helped to finance more costly development on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Guillemot suggested that a casual game costs only between €1 million and €4 million ($1.4m to $5.4m) to develop, depending on the number of platforms. By comparison he quoted a figure of between €5 million and €10 million ($6.8m to $13.6m) for a traditional Wii game and €10 million to €20 million ($13.6m to $27.1m) for an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 title.
Casual games were predicted to account for 20 percent of Ubisoft’s revenues this year, double that of the previous year. With a forecast of €825 million ($1.12bn) in revenues for the next financial year, that suggests casual game sales for the company of around €165 million ($223.8m).