Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot delivered a presentation during BMO Capital Markets' Annual Interactive Entertainment Conference in New York City on Tuesday, offering thoughts on each of the leading platforms and expressed particular pleasure in the success of the Wii. Success he expects to continue.
"[Nintendo's mass market strategy] is very profitable for Nintendo, and very profitable for all third-party publishers," said Guillemot. "... because [the strategy] is working, we create more product [for Nintendo platforms] and this will actually bring more people into the industry. The Wii is going to continue to do extremely well with no limit to growth."
Wii development is obviously of great importance and Guillemot noted that the publisher currently has between 400 and 500 people dedicated to Wii development and believes Ubisoft will be producing "Nintendo-like quality" on the Wii next year.
The CEO was also full of praise for the Nintendo DS which he said has helped expand Ubisoft's business, with Ubisoft CFO Alan Martinez adding that the platform's low development costs mean profits can be made on much less successful titles: 100,000 DS sales will see a profit compared to around 1.3 million units required for profit on PS3 and Xbox 360.
Guillemot also had positive comments about the Xbox 360 and PS3. He put much of the Xbox 360's success down to the execution of Xbox LIVE and its features, while praising the PS3 for bringing the movie and video game industries closer together. He also noted that the two consoles are very close in regards to performance.
"We consider those two machines close in what we can do with them," he said. "...It doesn't cost more than 10 percent extra to develop for the other machine. So you start [development] on either 360 or you start on PS3."
This wasn't always the case though: "Before, it was costing us more like 20 percent, just because it was difficult to learn the PS3 hardware, but now our engines are done, and we can easily develop for both machines."
Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed is expected to do solid business this winter and Guillemot believes the game will achieve an average review score of over 90%. We've only just got our hands on the final game so it's too early to know if Guillemot will be correct in his prediction. Look out for our review next week.