Games are getting bigger and bigger, with promises of even more huge open worlds with next generation consoles just around the corner. They’ve also gotten very expensive to make. The transition into HD development laid waste to large groups of companies, effectly wiping out midrange developers (of which this gen is just starting to see a return of). It’s made many people wonder if the model is a sustainable one, or if it’s a bubble getting ready to pop. Well, Ubisoft thinks it’ll be fine, saying the gaming market is growing to accommodate the increasing costs.
In an interview with GamesIndustry, the company CEO Yves Guillemot dismissed concerns that budgets are increasing while game prices themselves are mostly staying stagnant. He says that the world is a big one, and that Ubisoft has found that more people are playing their games for a longer period, helping make the model sustainable.
“It is sustainable, because the world is big and the number of players that can play our games is immense,” says Guillemot. “What we’ve seen in the last few years is the number of players that play our games is constantly growing.
“New markets are opening up and games live a lot longer than before. So at the moment we see that we can continue to increase the investments because we know we can have a return on investment that can be quite long[-tailed].”
Of course, he also points out that players staying in their worlds are also purchasing more in-game content, something that also props up the model.
“Our teams don’t stop after launching the game,” he concludes. “We have huge teams that continue to create content for players to stay in those universes they love to be in. The fact that we have some players buying items in these games is giving our teams the chance to continue creating that extra content.”
Whether or not there will be a tipping point somewhere down the line remains to be seen, but for now, Guillemot doesn’t seem to be wrong. Ubisoft has seen record profits and sales for their increasingly large games. So, for now at least, they’re riding high. Hopefully, we’ll get those new IPs that the company says it’s time to invest in soon because of that.