A portion of a GamesIndustry interview with Ubisoft UK managing director Rob Cooper…
Q: With regards to the Wii, Ubisoft seems to be one of the few third-party publishers seeing successful software sales. Is it hard convincing the consumer there’s more to the machine that mini-games?
Rob Cooper: The success of the Wii is phenomenal in the UK. David Yarnton (Nintendo’s UK MD) and his team there have done amazing work. With the software itself, you’ve got to get the right sort of game. It’s not a hardcore machine. As it’s a family-orientated machine it attracts a slightly different consumer – someone who is price savvy, someone who doesn’t buy a lot of software. The other issue is the amount of games on a disc. Wii Sports, Wii Play have got ten games, so the Wii gamer sees value for money. If you look at the software on the Wii, we’ve got to find ways of doing better and doing more sales, because it’s hard to get the casual consumer who has bought those two games and is happy with them. We’ve got to get them to go out and buy more games, encourage them with new titles.
Q: You’re not concerned with the amount of shovel-ware making its way to the Wii? You’re not worried about loosing shelf space or market share because every publisher wants a piece of that pie?
Rob Cooper: We’ll always fight our corner. Our thought process is not to bring games to the Wii that are on every other format, we tend to go more exclusive with the Wii because that’s the only way to make sure you get the right business out of it. Just adding the Wii sku to another seven or eight formats doesn’t really sell any decent amount.
I’m sure that’s the reason why…because you care about the consumer. I was thinking that these decisions might be due to the smaller dev teams, smaller amount of invested cash, and bigger return. Then you can take the revenue and bring the good games over to the 360 and PS3. That’s just my thinking, though.