Ubisoft skipped out on debuting a new Assassin’s Creed game last year, but the French publisher is not skimping on the future of its big-budget releases.
The company revealed today that it is opening Ubisoft Bordeaux in France and Ubisoft Berlin in Germany. These new studios will help the publisher produce more of its blockbuster games like Watch Dogs, the Tom Clancy line (The Division and Ghost Recon, for starters), and Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft now has four French development teams, two German studios, and more than 30 studios worldwide. They all work collaboratively to build new games with each squad providing a different area of expertise on every project.
As part of opening the Bordeaux and Berlin teams, Ubisoft is also planning to hire new staff from the local talent pool as well as from elsewhere.
“We pride ourselves on attracting and retaining the best creative talent around the world, and on establishing video games as a viable career option and economic contributor in new locales,” Ubisoft executive director Christine Burgess-Quémard said. “Opening new studios in both France and Germany enables us to offer more opportunities to skilled graduates and industry veterans in those regions, who in turn will help our highly-skilled teams in development of some of our biggest franchises.”
For Ubisoft, this investment also signifies a commitment to its way of making games. The publisher has hundreds — sometimes even thousands — of people building its products, and that has enabled it to launch a new Assassin’s Creed annually between the years 2009 and 2015. At the same time, the company introduced new franchises like Watch Dogs and The Division, and it could only pull this off by having teams all over the Earth contributing to its games. But with the Watch Dogs 2 getting lost in the holiday fray last year, and Assassin’s Creed on break after sluggish sales for Syndicate in 2015, Ubisoft’s business model is potentially risky.
But by expanding into Bordeaux and Berlin, the company is clearly not retreating.