Ubisoft's CEO on teaming with Nintendo for Mario + Rabbids, Davide Soliani's emotional reaction, and the potential for a sequel
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot recently appeared on the IGN Unfiltered podcast to talk all things Ubisoft. As you might guess, the convesation eventually veered into Nintendo territory, as the two companies have teamed up on projects in the past. In the snippet below, Mr. Guillemot talks about how Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle came to be.
“Yes, it comes to me for sure, because it’s really not only a game, it’s really a relationship – a collaboration with Nintendo. The way it happened is that our teams at Ubisoft have always been so impressed by what Nintendo was doing that they wanted to collaborate with Nintendo and we did so in being early on all the machines Nintendo did and we did a lot on the Wii if you remember, and the Wii U. The optimal relationship that we could have was to work with Mr. Miyamoto and for us having that possibility was fantastic because you can learn how he does things, you can get feedback on everything you do, so that has been an experience that has been really cool for all the members of the company I would say. That’s why it was a discussion we had with Mr. Iwata (and with) the person who was organizing the relation between Ubisoft and Nintendo, and so it has been I would say a long discussion and we had to convince Mr. Miyamoto with what we were showing and what we could do. Step by step they opened the door for us to do Mario + Rabbids.
We have gates, so I participate through all the gates of the different games we create, and this one yes for sure it had a lot of attention because it was something totally different from what we were doing, but it actually went very well. The relationship was well established. As for our teams, it was working with God – it was something that they were spending lots of time to make sure it could be perfect.”
As you might remember, following a ton of leaks and rumors, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was officially unveiled during Ubisoft's E3 2017 press conference. That was quickly followed by one of the most wonderful moments in E3 history. Ubisoft's Davide Soliani, director on the project, couldn't help but get emotional when the game was revealed. Ubisoft's cameras caught Soliani's heartfelt reaction, and the internet ran wild with it. Mr. Guillemot happens to be a big fan of the moment as well.
“It was a wonderful moment. And it was a wonderful moment for me too because seeing a person who was a fan of Nintendo being able to create something that was recognized by Mr. Miyamoto was something that gave me a lot of promise. I was really proud to see that kind of thing could happen, and when a person from Ubisoft is happy, I’m always extremely happy.”
From there, the rest is history, as they say. The game has gone on to be a success for both Ubisoft and Nintendo, moving millions of units across the world. You'd think that means a sequel is definitely in the works, right? Well if there is, Mr. Guillemot isn't ready to talk about it.
“We can’t say much today, but we had a good relationship, so let’s see what will come.”