Wii U ports cost under $1.3 million for Ubisoft

Publishing giant insists there is no 'huge research and development investment' in Wii U

Ubisoft has today revealed that development costs for the Wii U simply are not as expensive as once believed. CEO Yves Guillemot has gone on record to say that his company "doesn't have a huge investment" in the next-gen console, despite a strong showing at this year's E3.

At a recent investors call with Ubisoft, the question arose as to how much is going into development for the new console. Guillemot made it clear to investors that many of the games being launched on the Wii U are not new games, but they are ports from Xbox 360 and the PS3.

"Out of seven games we are planning to launch five games are ports, so those are games for which there is a quite small reinvestment to do," said Guillemot. Ubisoft indicated that Wii U ports cost about 1 million euros (a little over $1.2 million).

Of course, this still leaves the new Rayman and ZombiU titles, but Ubisoft again insists that the cost of those two games is nowhere near the kind of expense that would be seen on the current HD consoles.

"The two games that are original are ZombiU and Rayman Legends, so those ones of course are more expensive but we are not talking about games today, like we were spending on Ghost Recon or Assassin's Creed. So they are much smaller of cost."

"Because as we've always said when there is such an innovation the need is not to have big production value but to concentrate on the innovation This is what we are trying on Rayman and ZombiU."

Ubisoft has been seeing positive growth in a market that has supposedly "penalized" the industry for not moving onto the next generation. The publisher recently posted its quarterly financials, seeing a 27 percent sales bump thanks in part to digital revenues as well as game sales on the Vita and 3DS.

[Thanks NeoGAF via CVG]

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Latest comments (5)

Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 9 years ago
This isn't really too much of a surprise to me: the hardware and SDKs simply aren't anywhere near as different from the previous generation (and from PCs, to some degree) as the previous generation was to the one before that.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd9 years ago
So that would mean they'd need to sell about 50K to break even on a Wii U port project (estimate based on ~$25 margin for Ubisoft at retail), and 100K would yield a solid profit. Anything that turned into a 500K+ seller would basically be free money. Seems pretty risk free. If other publishers/developers are as efficient as Ubisoft at such ports there would be no reason at all to not make your PS360 games multiplat to the device.
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange9 years ago
If the initial launch generates an installed base of at least 500k, they can at least sell 50k games during the first week and reap profits by the 1st month. And considering the Wii U's launching this Holiday season there is minimal risk they wouldn't reach those numbers.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University9 years ago
Maybe other third parties will get the message now. Nintendo need to announce titles like Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite and Grand Theft Auto V for Wii U, as well as some of their own titles for next year, to convince more skeptical hobbyist gamers to make the jump to Wii U.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 9 years ago
I doubt 3rd parties will listen to each other about Nintendo. Everyone seems to have made up their minds a long time ago, with Eidos being very quick to say that there were no plans (possibly ever) to put the new Tomb Raider onto Wii U. Maybe that's a recoil of them having to patch out a major A class issue post launch on the last game on the Wii.

I'm glad it seems to be so cheap to do. It just further fuels the suspicions I have that whether a developer/pub make a game or a Nintendo system is purely a cultural decision rather than a business one (you know... outside of dance and fitness games and the like).
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