Discussing Ubisoft's plans for entering the massively multiplayer online game space, CEO and president Yves Guillemot talked about the company's recent acquisition of World in Conflict developer Massive Entertainment and outlined the company's strategy to create "light" massively multiplayer online games.
"Our goal there is to go first with light MMOs," he said, speaking at the BMO Capital Markets Interactive Entertainment Conference. "They have been extremely popular for a long time in China, but are also coming to the U.S. and Europe, generating lots of good revenue."
Based in Malmö, Sweden with 120 developers, Massive Entertainment was divested from previous owner Activision after the publisher's merger with Blizzard Entertainment. Neither Ubisoft or Activision disclosed the terms or value of the exchange.
"We bought [Massive Entertainment] from them because those guys are Blizzard, so they don't need that studio as much as we do," said Guillemot, referring to Blizzard's already strong presence in the MMO field with World of Warcraft.
He went on to note that Massive is "extremely strong" with real-time strategy titles, such as the studio's critically acclaimed World in Conflict PC game released in 2007. "They are going to help us to also get closer to the MMO space," he adds.
Light MMOs will only be the beginning for Ubisoft. Said Guillemot, "In the future, we will come with RPGs and RTSes also in the MMO space." The company already has an Avatar MMO planned for late 2009 based on James Cameron's upcoming 3D science fiction film of the same name.