"We have also focused our energy and resources on a smaller number of releases to maximize their potential.”
- Ubisoft execs outline why the company isn't using its manpower to release five or six triple-A titles a year.
Following on the success of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Ubisoft doesn’t seem eager to ramp the series back up into one that sees annual releases.
During a recent investor Q&A, Ubisoft chief executive officer Yves Guillemot and chief financial officer Alain Martinez explained that the studio’s decision to pour additional development time into its new releases rather than quickly churn out triple-A titles is paying off and allowing the team to create more engaging experiences.
After the release of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Ubisoft notably delayed three projects to give the development teams more time to add polish. Now, with Assassin’s Creed, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle out in the wild, Ubisoft is doubling down on its decision to pursue quality over quantity.
The company says that Assassin’s Creed: Origins is already on track to double the sales of the previous game in the series, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, and has already attained a higher season pass attach rate, though Ubisoft didn’t disclose numbers.
Because of that, Ubisoft’s leadership told one investor asking about a possible return to annual releases for Assasin’s Creed that the company is instead focusing on Assassin’s Creed: Origins and cultivating the game’s existing player base through upcoming DLC.
That attitude is something that carries over to Ubisoft’s plan for all of its releases. Guillemot says that the company is looking to create a small number games that will keep players engaged rather than try to keep attention through six or more big releases a year.
As Martinez explains, the strength of Ubisoft’s back catalog and live services are exactly what allows the company to comfortably pour additional development time into creating those larger and more polished titles.
“Really, we try to go with ever bigger, [more successful] games,” said Martinez. “Actually what we were trying to convey as a message is that the fact that our back catalog and our live services are delivering so much benefit to the company [that they’re] relieving us from the ‘must have’ release [volume] that we had in the past.”
“Really, today as you’ve seen we’ve been able to deliver a much better performance with only two and a half games,” said Martinez.
In Guillemot’s words, Ubisoft's current strategy boils down to “more fun, more revenue.”