Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot says the company's recently announced Drawsome tablet
for the Wii will serve as a platform to "test the market for the Wii U" before Nintendo's new console arrives in stores.
Speaking in a call accompanying the company's recent earnings announcement
, Guillemot responded to concerns that the soon-to-launch Drawsome was overly similar to THQ's uDraw by saying that the tablet will create benefits outside the Wii market.
"What's extremely interesting is it's also a way for us to test the market for the Wii U, as the products we create for [Drawsome] will be helping us to understand what the problems are going to be for consumers," he said. "So it's a way to get into the tablet process for a console that is in homes."
Speaking further on the company's Wii U development experience so far, Guillemot said initial difficulties working on the upcoming system have diminished as the company gets to know the new hardware.
While the Wii U's tablet and improved graphics have increased Ubisoft's casual game development costs when compared with the Wii, Guillemot said those costs are "not a lot
higher," and also benefit from some important economies of scale.
"Because we do some products on the Wii U and
the other consoles, we will be able to share costs between the three platforms, so that's something to consider," he said. "When you look at graphics and animation, we will be able to spread that cost between the three platforms, where with the Wii you had to create a totally different product."
Regarding Ubisoft's recent success with online games such as The Smurfs and Co.
, Guillemot echoed comments from ex-Playdom executive Rick Thompson that analytics should inform game design without "driving the bus."
"Don't get me wrong, analytics are key and are a major focus on our side, and an ever-increasing priority for our team," Gullemot said. "But we believe [The Smurfs
' success] shows that, as always, the difference will be made by famous brands and creators of great content."