Ubisoft talks Wii U porting and development costs, total platform investment, more

Pooya

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the best I could to get direct quotes.

How many f2p games are you looking for in this year? "we will have, I would say at least 5 or 6 running and operating by the of FY, we spoke about Ghost Recon, we will announce more games at gamescom, mid August."


How much of your R&D budget has been allocated to WiiU? and then secondly can you comment, in general, on cost of creating games for the WiiU and how that compares to the cost for a PS3, 360 game or a Wii game?

"out of 7 games we are planning to launch, 5 games are ports, so those are games for which there is a quite small reinvestment to do. The two games that are original, are ZombiU of course and Rayman, 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 ZombieU. for the other five games, you are talking about small budget, I'd say of less than a million euro to make some of the ports, I'd estimate. so together I don't think we have a huge investment on the Wiiu"

Just Dance 4 vs 3

more than 10 percent less than what we had last year
 

metalslimer

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A million Euro for the ports. That's actually more of an investment than I thought. I guess it makes sense since they have separate studios doing a lot of these ports. Also isn't Sports Connection Wii U exclusive?
 

Ein Bear

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I foresee this 'it's really cheap to make a port!' statement being brought up in port begging threads for years to come.
 

test_account

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I foresee this 'it's really cheap to make a port!' statement being brought up in port begging threads for years to come.
It probably variates from game to game and which platforms we're talking about. I.e, i really doubt that the 3DS and Vita port of Rayman Origins cost about 1 million euro each to do.

For the WiiU versions, they are most likely incorporating some extra stuff to take use of the WiiU controller, and that takes extra time than just porting a game straight over without any changes at all.
 
Feb 9, 2006
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It's huge for a lot of fans around here, but by no means is 2D Rayman a killer franchise for the company. Origins probably sold no more than half a million units to date.
I belive it's around 1,5 million in retail alone. The digital version also seems to be doing quite well. The game has legs.
 

metalslimer

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I foresee this 'it's really cheap to make a port!' statement being brought up in port begging threads for years to come.
If a game is multiplatform I don't necessarily see the harm in asking for another SKU. For example asking for a PC version of a game. The real annoying thing is when an exclusive gets port begged.
 
Jun 7, 2007
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the best I could to get direct quotes.

How many f2p games are you looking for in this year? "we will have, I would say at least 5 or 6 running and operating by the of FY, we spoke about Ghost Recon, we will announce more games at gamescom, mid August."


How much of your R&D budget has been allocated to WiiU? and then secondly can you comment, in general, on cost of creating games for the WiiU and how that compares to the cost for a PS3, 360 game or a Wii game?

"out of 7 games we are planning to launch, 5 games are ports, so those are games for which there is a quite small reinvestment to do. The two games that are original, are ZombiU of course and Rayman, 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 ZombieU. for the other five games, you are talking about small budget, I'd say of less than a million euro to make some of the ports, I'd estimate. so together I don't think we have a huge investment on the Wiiu"
The break-even should be around 67.000 units (15€ profit) to 40.000 units (25€ profit). That's nothing.


Edit:
What's the source article?
 

metalslimer

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The break-even should be around 67.000 units (15€ profit) to 40.000 units (25€ profit). That's nothing.
I would think they get more money than that. Once you take all royalty fees and retail cut I would think it would be more considering Ubi is making these games themselves. The cut is only that low when you have a publisher doing it for an independent studio
Edit:
What's the source article?
Believe its a conference call.
 

Fersis

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Silent Hunter Online is one of the F2P titles theyre talking about.
Oh and do you folks remember when some Ubisoft Executive said that F2P wasnt a proven model yet? yeah.
 

NateDrake

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Interesting comment about Rayman. Would be an awesome exclusive to have around launch even if only for a few months.
 
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Thx. :)


I would think they get more money than that. Once you take all royalty fees and retail cut I would think it would be more considering Ubi is making these games themselves. The cut is only that low when you have a publisher doing it for an independent studio
Yeah, that's right, I've found this with a quick google search:

According to this, margin should be ~45% for publisher + developer.
That's 27$/€ per game.


*But footnotes say "publisher always gets 36$ to split".
 

bigtroyjon

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Thx. :)



Yeah, that's right, I've found this with a quick google search:



According to this, margin should be ~45% for publisher + developer.
That's 27$/€ per game.


*But footnotes say "publisher always gets 36$ to split".
I find it impossible to believe that retailers are paying $48 per game. Shoot, Amazon has been selling numerous brand new games lately for $45.
 
I thought that console manufacturer royalty was around $7...
That was true last generation, but it went up to around $12 this generation.

I find it impossible to believe that retailers are paying $48 per game. Shoot, Amazon has been selling numerous brand new games lately for $45.
It varies a lot by game, publisher, and specific retailer, since they sign individual deals as opposed to having a universal rate. Some games can get up to $52 a copy at certain retailers, whereas others might only pay in the low $40s.

That said, it's not uncommon for Amazon to loss lead to get sales on their site going.
 
The 9 dollar marketing part shouldn't be included in a port should it?
Well, a run rate is usually relative to expected total sales, so it would be true across all versions.

That said, I prefer to just take the $36 and compare it raw to total development plus marketing costs, but if we're talking on an individual SKU level it might make more sense to apply the run rate to the per unit revenue.

It doesn't really make sense to say "All these marketing dollars were solely for the Xbox version."
 
Jun 7, 2007
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The 9 dollar marketing part shouldn't be included in a port should it?
It depends, Assassin's Creed III should be released in the sames timeframe as the Wii U - version. It's not a "port" actually, it's a multiplatform game.

That said, marketing costs should be like ~3$ vor every version and 9$ overall.
 

andthebeatgoeson

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Does this confirm that Rayman Legends is a Wii U exclusive? This would be pretty huge for Nintendo!! : )
One of the biggest points from these quotes is that ports don't cost much. Why wouldn't they port it over to the other guys? I'm all for porting this generation. I'm tired of supporting 2 or more platforms. Port away.
 

metalslimer

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Yeah that's more of what I meant. The marketing of these multiplat games usually doesn't go separate so including the full cost of advertising in one of the version isn't really accurrate. $3 per versions sounds right

One of the biggest points from these quotes is that ports don't cost much. Why wouldn't they port it over to the other guys? I'm all for porting this generation. I'm tired of supporting 2 or more platforms. Port away.
Probably some marketing deals in place with Nintendo, plus Nintendo having the best audience for a game like Rayman. I wouldn't be surprised if the real NSMBU might not make launch is to not compete with Rayman
 
It depends, Assassin's Creed III should be released in the sames timeframe as the Wii U - version. It's not a "port" actually, it's a multiplatform game.

That said, marketing costs should be like ~3$ vor every version and 9$ overall.
Well, really I'd say the best way to determine final marketing costs would be to take the total marketing spend and then divide it by the number of copies sold, and that's the dollar amount per unit that benefited from what is pretty universal marketing.

If we only count $3 per every version then you would have $3 total on each unit, which doesn't really make sense. Unless you mean that in the "We count 33% of marketing costs for each version." sense, though I feel at that point the port that sells the least is going to look quite unprofitable.
 

olimpia84

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Speaking of Ubisoft, Rayman, and the WiiU you guys should preorder it from Amazon. It's 49.99 which could end up being a lower price since most preorders list the 59.99 price tag.
 

Reallink

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Thx. :)



Yeah, that's right, I've found this with a quick google search:



According to this, margin should be ~45% for publisher + developer.
That's 27$/€ per game.


*But footnotes say "publisher always gets 36$ to split".
Cause that graphic is breaking out marketing as a separate entity, which makes no sense to me personally, as it's ultimately paid for out of the revenue that goes to the publisher/dev. The foot note is correct, the pub/dev gets $36 per sale if those figures are accurate. Not every game has the same marketing budget, which makes the break out even more nonsensical. I think they were just trying to tilt the graphic to make it look like the pie split was somewhat equally.
 
Jun 7, 2007
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Well, really I'd say the best way to determine final marketing costs would be to take the total marketing spend and then divide it by the number of copies sold, and that's the dollar amount per unit that benefited from what is pretty universal marketing.

If we only count $3 per every version then you would have $3 total on each unit, which doesn't really make sense. Unless you mean that in the "We count 33% of marketing costs for each version." sense, though I feel at that point the port that sells the least is going to look quite unprofitable.
That's correct, I just wanted to point out a simple, more specific version of this breakdown, since we don't have any sales data.
 

metalslimer

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I don't really like including marketing costs in this to begin with. First of all the number varies wildly in terms of how much is spent on marketing. Secondly, I consider marketing a part of development, otherwise why aren't you putting dev costs into this. It would bring the number each publisher gets way down. The reason is dev costs vary wildly just like marketing.
 

Delusibeta

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One of the biggest points from these quotes is that ports don't cost much. Why wouldn't they port it over to the other guys? I'm all for porting this generation. I'm tired of supporting 2 or more platforms. Port away.
Especially considering that the main reason Rayman Origins was profitable was because it was ported to pretty much every current gen console out there (and Windows). I'd say ports of Rayman Legends is highly likely.
 

Dacvak

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I wish other publishers would either openly support the Wii U, or at least state exactly what they're doing with it. I find the silence of most publishers a little unsettling.
 

andthebeatgoeson

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I find the price for ports to be vastly interesting. Sorry, now that the cat is out of the bag and they are making $12 off each game, my desire to port beg is thru the roof. $12 US is just under 10 euros. Meaning, 100K to break even. For a port. Porting to all available platforms seems like the best thing.
 

OldJadedGamer

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It's not uncommon to wave the full fee for an exclusive game.

That said, sales volume from multiplatform titles has gotten high enough that most people don't find that fee wave attractive anymore.
Right but games like MGS4 you can expect they weren't paying a dime.
 
I find the price for ports to be vastly interesting. Sorry, now that the cat is out of the bag and they are making $12 off each game, my desire to port beg is thru the roof. $12 US is just under 10 euros. Meaning, 100K to break even. For a port. Porting to all available platforms seems like the best thing.
Well, if we look at that chart, since Ubisoft develops almost all of their own games, it'd would be more like $27 a unit even if we took the 15% marketing out on a per unit basis.

Right but games like MGS4 you can expect they weren't paying a dime.
I totally agree there, and I expect that Sony paid a large share of the marketing to boot. However, KojiPro went multiplatform afterwards due to sheer revenue left on the table.
 
Nov 26, 2006
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Let's round up the games:

Original/Exclusive:

ZombiU
Rayman Legends
Rabbids Land
Sports Connection

Ports:

Assassin's Creed III
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
Just Dance 4
Your Shape 2013 (not confirmed bu it's extremely likely, as even the first was on PC (with the camera to boot)
Ghost Recon Online

But that means that either Rabbids Land and Sports Connection aren't exclusive (maybe Rabbids Land is for 3DS or PC, doubt it) or both are after launch.

All 5 ports could be it, UNLESS MAYBE Far Cry 3 is in the pipeline? Ghost Recon is a tad mysterious though the mention of GR was in the discussion so maybe it is GRO?

Maybe there are other launch titles we don't know about? The card game is still underwraps.
 
Let's round up the games:

Original/Exclusive:

ZombiU
Rayman Legends
Rabbids Land
Sports Connection

Ports:

Assassin's Creed III
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
Just Dance 4
Your Shape 2013 (not confirmed bu it's extremely likely, as even the first was on PC (with the camera to boot)
Ghost Recon Online

But that means that either Rabbids Land and Sports Connection aren't exclusive (maybe Rabbids Land is for 3DS or PC, doubt it) or both are after launch.

All 5 ports could be it, UNLESS MAYBE Far Cry 3 is in the pipeline? Ghost Recon is a tad mysterious though the mention of GR was in the discussion so maybe it is GRO?

Maybe there are other launch titles we don't know about? The card game is still underwraps.
Might & Magic: Duel of Champions is almost assuredly the card game.
 
Feb 21, 2007
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Let's round up the games:

Original/Exclusive:

ZombiU
Rayman Legends
Rabbids Land
Sports Connection

Ports:

Assassin's Creed III
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
Just Dance 4
Your Shape 2013 (not confirmed bu it's extremely likely, as even the first was on PC (with the camera to boot)
Ghost Recon Online

But that means that either Rabbids Land and Sports Connection aren't exclusive (maybe Rabbids Land is for 3DS or PC, doubt it) or both are after launch.

All 5 ports could be it, UNLESS MAYBE Far Cry 3 is in the pipeline? Ghost Recon is a tad mysterious though the mention of GR was in the discussion so maybe it is GRO?

Maybe there are other launch titles we don't know about? The card game is still underwraps.
Are Rabbids games on any non-nintendo platforms? I don't recall any, but I could be wrong. Anyways, there was a rabbids game on 3ds that launched a few months after the console so I'de be betting it is exclusive, but an early 2013 title
 

StuBurns

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I totally agree there, and I expect that Sony paid a large share of the marketing to boot. However, KojiPro went multiplatform afterwards due to sheer revenue left on the table.
Indeed, that was certainly an interesting contract I'm sure. There's lots of Sony product placement, and it was the about the same time Sony Pictures okay'd the potential film.

I don't imagine we'll see any major third party exclusives this generation, but that was a really interesting aspect of this generation. NG2 was another one, developed by Team Ninja, with a timed exclusive MGS publishing contract, and fixed MGS distribution, crazy stuff.
 

The_Lump

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Hmm. Not sure I like ZombiU being coupled with 'low production value'. I hope it doesn't end up too small or casual feeling.