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Ubisoft: Brazilian Operations Will 'Ramp Down' By Year-End
Ubisoft: Brazilian Operations Will 'Ramp Down' By Year-End
September 29, 2010 | By Kris Graft

September 29, 2010 | By Kris Graft
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Ubisoft said Wednesday that it will scale back its South American business by the end of the year, as studios in the region have failed to meet corporate expectations.

"Ubisoft confirms that development activities in its Brazilian studios will ramp down by the end of this year, as the current market conditions do not permit Ubisoft to achieve the goals initially set for the studios," a Ubisoft corporate representative said in an email to Gamasutra.

The rep added, "Overall this year Ubisoft's global production headcount should remain stable. Ubisoft plans to continue its business presence in Brazil and is currently evaluating opportunities."

The publisher did not disclose exactly how many jobs are at stake or whether the publisher's Brazilian studios would eventually shutter completely.

Ubisoft announced a Sao Paulo, Brazil studio in June 2008, its first studio in South America. At the time, the publisher said it would open the location in July that year with a staff of 20 workers, with a targeted 200-person headcount for the studio in its first four years. It was Ubisoft's 20th development location.

The Sao Paulo location developed family-friendly games including titles in the Imagine series for Nintendo DS. Ubisoft had invested in casual titles on Nintendo platforms, but starting in 2009, the publisher saw significant declines in the DS market. In its fiscal year ended March 2010, the publisher saw substantial decreases in DS software sales.

An anonymous developer from a neighboring game development studio in Brazil tells Gamasutra that the closure of Ubisoft's operations in the country had been anticipated among the local development community for some time. The developer says that local newspaper coverage also attributed the facility's closure to the past year's massive contraction in the casual Wii and DS software market.

Ubisoft Sao Paulo was joined with another Brazilian studio when the publisher acquired Southlogic, a deal announced in early 2009. The studio was also reportedly also slated to work on the Imagine series of games.


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Comments


Maurício Gomes
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I am from Brazil, the news sites here already forwarded a statement by Bertrand (the dude that takes care of the stuff here) that is more or less that:



The São Paulo studio is fine, and they won't change it. The former Southlogic one, is the one with jobs being cut (seemly about 20 people, but I AM NOT SURE about this number... it is speculation).



Also he said they won't close any of the two studios. And finally, he said that "soon" Ubisoft will release a official statement on the subject, including explanation of the reasons.



Source:

http://g1.globo.com/tecnologia/noticia/2010/09/ubisoft-reduz-ativ
idade-em-porto-alegre-mas-mantem-escritorio-em-sp.html

Link on UOL.com.br that I forgot... :/

Friends on the local game industry.

Leonardo Ferreira
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Well, I didn't even noticed they started any operations at all...

Fábio Bernardon
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They seemed to be doing very well before I left (to pursue an US opportunity). I was even wondering if they were starting to develop for the 3DS. And thinking that this is likely the greatest game developer in Brazil. Good luck to you all fellows!

Mark Venturelli
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@ Fabio, the greatest potential, maybe, due to access to Ubisoft's seasoned professionals, but I doubt that they are the greatest developer.



Bad news, anyway. Wonder what Ubi considers to be below expectations. They missed milestones? The studio costs were higher than expected? The output quality was low?



Hope that other international companies don't see this as representative of the brazilian professionals as a whole.

Maurício Gomes
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Mark, Southlogic (the studio that Ubi bought) ARE the greatest developer, working for them was like a dream, they could even afford full page ads on Brazil EGM asking for workers (while no other company make any ad at all about jobs...), they made some Deer Hunter games, and worked outsourced to make parts of AAA games, they are the only studio that could squarely say that they worked in the mainstream US game industry (even as contractor... or working for publishers, making games in some franchises).



If I ask in my classroom of 40 students, who would do everything for a job at Southlogic, probably 39 will say they would.



EDIT: Actually, I think Southlogic would have improved Ubi more than Ubi would ever improve them... Specially considering their Montreal studio for example, or the stories I heard about the São Paulo studio, that made my dream to work for Ubi plummet from clouds to the bottom of the abyssal ocean floor.

Fábio Bernardon
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@Mark

No, really the greatest developer. They did released a LOT of games in the past. A couple hunting games (including 3 Deer Hunter games), a few console games (for both XBOX and DS), as well as some web games. I can't think of any other developer in Brazil that has a track record for releasing as many titles in diverse platforms as they did.

Maurício Gomes
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Now according to this news: http://jogos.uol.com.br/ultnot/multi/2010/09/30/ult530u8344.jhtm Ubi Brazil will close, remaing only the retail part.

Mark Venturelli
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@ Mauricio



I can't believe this. They are REALLY shutting everything down? I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous... they bought a company such as Southlogic, with FOURTEEN years of activity, just to burn it down to the ground in less than 2 years?



This is really, really sad.


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