Ubisoft thinks big. The company, which has had offices in Mile End for the past 21 years, wants to grow from 20 million to 200 million active gamers a month by 2025. This is the primary objective of the growth strategy presented by Yannis Mallat, the CEO of the French video game company’s Canadian studios, to the Chamber on November 27.
Ubisoft – which has offices in Montréal, Québec City and Saguenay – makes a major contribution to showcasing technological and creative know-how in the video game and artificial intelligence industries in Quebec. The company made its mark internationally with titles such as Assassin’s Creed, Rainbow Six and Prince of Persia.
According to Yannis Mallat, connectivity is having a profound effect on the industry. Players buy fewer games, but devote more time to them, including watching, commenting on, disseminating and sharing other players’ performance.
The CEO notes that there is growing enthusiasm for video games. In 2017, over 600 million people around the world took in online content related to video games, for a total of 800 million hours a month.
Ubisoft intends to tap into driving forces in Montréal and Quebec to execute his strategy and promote local talent. The company wants to consolidate its leadership position by leveraging science and technology to take risks and discover new avenues for the industry. Here are three strategies Ubisoft will use to reach 200 million gamers a month.
Beyond the console
Is the console becoming a thing of the past, after dominating for almost four decades? According to Yannis Mallat, streaming technology could move video games into a new era: that of cloud gaming.
Video games of the future require three things: a controller, a screen and an Internet connection. Mr. Mallat refers to the dematerialisation of video games, which could increase access to them.
A first step has been made, right here in Montréal, with the launch of a new version of Assassin’s Creed three weeks ago, Mr. Mallat noted.
eSport laying the groundwork for eEntertainment
eSport is a relatively new concept that is gaining popularity. There are structured leagues and tournaments that allow top players to compete. Online platforms host games live, attracting millions of spectators.
The next step will be even more impressive, according to Yannis Mallat. It will be eEntertainment, creating happeningswithcommentators, sponsors, presenters and, of course, spectators. According to Mr. Mallat, for many businesses, spectators will offer more promising business opportunities than the sale of copies of a game and should make it possible to increase the number of followers for these products.
Capturing the Chinese market
Ubisoft also has an eye on China and its enormous market. According to Yannis Mallat, the most populated country in the world has a pool of 500 million gamers that Ubisoft hasn’t yet tapped into.
The company recently found a local partner, Tencent, to distribute its games in China.