News: Despite supporting several ports to the upcoming Wii U system, Ubisoft claim to be keeping development costs low.
Addressing an investor’s question at a recent shareholder meeting, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has categorically stated that although Ubisoft will be supplying Nintendo’s Wii U with a range of ported titles, including Ghost Recon and Assassins Creed III, the R&D costs will be kept relatively low for such high-profile titles.
‘Out of 7 games we are planning to launch, 5 games are ports, so those are games for which there is a quite small reinvestment to do.’ He explained, ‘The two games that are original are ZombiU of course and Rayman, so those ones of course are more expensive but we are not talking about games today, like we were spending on Ghost Recon or Assassin’s Creed. So they are much smaller of cost.’
‘Because as we’ve always said when there is such an innovation the need is not to have big production value but to concentrate on the innovation. This is what we are trying on Rayman and ZombiU. And for the other five games, you are talking about small budget, I’d say of less than a million euro to make some of the ports, I’d estimate. So together I don’t think we have a huge investment on the Wii U.’
Keeping a port under a million euros (around $1.2 million) may not seem like careful spending, but considering that some major-league titles can allocate $20-30 million on development, potentially doubling that in marketing, then managing to add another platform to the sales for a fraction of the budget would be a pretty good idea. Whether or not this will impact the quality of the ports is up for debate, but considering that Ubisoft is investing their credibility into their support Wii U, if not their money, it’s unlikely that their ports will go out the door without heavy testing.
Those, ladies and gentlemen, are words I will probably be eating very soon.