Ubisoft: Teams of up to 600 necessary for our AAA games, Watch_Dogs at 270

#1
In case anyone was curious how big Ubisoft's team sizes were.

They're still hiring people for Watch_Dogs to note, so presumably that will go higher.

GamesIndustry said:
Q: Will the studio be working on its own original IP?

Pauline Jacquey: Yes. We do parts of games, but it's very actually standard at Ubisoft now to do AAA games, like for the new PS4 console, you need teams of up to 600 guys so you can't do it at just one site. So there's organisation within Ubisoft to make sure that collaboration happens and works. So it's not like outsourcing, it's real co-development and collaboration and I think both sides learn a lot from working together. So I want this to be a very strong pillar of the studio, but yes, I want us to do our own games and I'm very interested in the evolution of the industry like free-to-play and digital and mobile. And that's something that I did already, in the past. Not very famous games, but still millions of players. So I don't know exactly which shape it could take, I've only been here for three months, but my intention is to have a very varied portfolio and collaboration will not just be what we do.
GamesIndustry said:
Q: And how do you manage resources to be able to work on all the different platforms, is that the same sort of thing?

Pauline Jacquey: That's actually exactly my challenge right now, I have to hire 50 people to make sure that I cover all my needs and that's my biggest challenge today. We're looking for a very specific profile that's not easy to find anywhere in Ubisoft. Specialities are very hard to find, and it's hard to find everywhere. But for instance I just managed to have a team of ten guys in Barcelona that are going to work with us, so the international collaboration is happening at all levels.
GamesIndustry said:
We have a team of almost 90 guys working on Watch Dogs, so one third of the team is in the UK.
GamesIndustry said:
Q: Do you have to factor the challenges of a new console into your development costs?

Pauline Jacquey: Totally. We actually started making simulations three years ago on next-gen because we knew that it would require probably a multiplication of data by two or four, meaning bigger teams. But it depends on the type of thing that you do, there are games that Ubisoft specialises in like open world action games with a lot of production value, and you do need a team of 400 to 600 people, that's a lot, and next-gen is increasing this. And then some systemic games you can probably afford to do a next-gen game with 100 people. Ubisoft are very generous with resources, making sure product quality is top notch, so it's got a big influence on budget. But then the outcome, the production revenue, should be much higher as well so it balances. It's just the risk is higher, so if we miss it once or twice the impact is big.
Source: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articl...rst-interview-with-the-ubisoft-studios-new-md
 
#12
If you've ever had to sit through an Ubisoft credits sequence, this is not surprising. One of them, forget which one (AC:Revelations?), was almost 40 minutes long.
 

LiquidMetal14

hide your water-based mammals
#14
I think these teams or number of people work on several projects. It's a little misleading to just say 600 people on one game. Perhaps the contracted work or back and forth between different units may attribute to that high number.
 
#17
If you've ever had to sit through an Ubisoft credits sequence, this is not surprising. One of them, forget which one (AC:Revelations?), was almost 40 minutes long.
They probably had a team of 25 people working on the credit sequence for 6 months:p
Then 12 to pass it through QA
A team for animation
Then production and shipping.
150.000 dollars for a credit sequence
get the reference?
 

Gahiggidy

My aunt & uncle run a Mom & Pop store, "The Gamecube Hut", and sold 80k WiiU within minutes of opening.
#19
I wish Pikmin 3 had a team of 600 developers. :( Which might mean they'd have resources to include online play.
 
#21
Pffft quantity over quality. I already expect Watch Dogs to run like shit, sub 30fps with screen tearing and all, on next-gen consoles. All UBI games I played ran like shit on PS3.
 
#23
Ubisoft are very generous with resources, making sure product quality is top notch, so it's got a big influence on budget. But then the outcome, the production revenue, should be much higher as well so it balances.
Much higher revenue on the new consoles which start at 0 install base? Risky indeed. And it seems like Ubi thinks the more people they throw at a project the more it will sell?
 
#25
I'm hopeful the other half of hires for Watch_Dogs will be QA but I really imagine the game being pretty buggy just because of the nature of the game.
 
#26
Much higher revenue on the new consoles which start at 0 install base? Risky indeed. And it seems like Ubi thinks the more people they throw at a project the more it will sell?
Well to be fair that seemed to work for Assassin's Creed 3 and Far Cry 3.

Not so much Driver though.
 
#37
It's insane how many people need to work on these big projects, and it only gets more complex when you're attempting to make these games cross-gen too.
 
#39
This is the equivalent of big budget summer Hollywood blockbuster, I don't see the big deal. There's still room for mid-sized and small development studios. There is demand for blockbuster, big budget games and their is demand for mid-sized games and indie games. It's a similar situation to Hollywood where an entire range of budgets are employed.
 
#40
The difference in team sizes between Ubisoft and other AAA studios like Bungie and DICE is fascinating.
Bungie makes a game every 3 years. Ubisoft pumps out yearly sequels for a lot of their big properties. They need 600 people to condense the development cycle. I'd actually like to see what each game works out to in total man hours.
 
#43
AAA game production is going to be interesting to see in next-gen, I really hope they learned from their flaws with what happened since 2006...
Since Assassin's Creed 3 got up to 600 people, I imagine that next gen games will get up to 1200 people. Then we'll have profits of $60 million dollars on multibillion dollar projects.
 
#49
That's 48 people worth of salaries for a year in costs. Not 70 for however long ubisoft worked on watch dogs and definitely not 600.
That's 5+ console/device release with massive marketing, localization, QA, Audio/Video Infrastructures, Massive single-player stories and chugging out a game a year.

Natural Selection 2, by comparison, is a multiplayer title that is Steam-only release, with them delayed/cancelling OS X, Linux, and Xbox releases.

If Konami's numbers are correct, it takes 20 people minimum to port a game to a system. With WiiU, PC, 360, PS3, PS4 and 720, that's 100 employees ensuring the game releases on the designation platform.
 

GraveRobberX

Platinum Trophy: Learned to Shit While Upright Again.
#50
The difference in team sizes between Ubisoft and other AAA studios like Bungie and DICE is fascinating.
It shows in the product

Just cause you have a 600 man team working on titles doesn't automatically give you AAA status or make you oodles of cash, but then I just recently found out Ass Creed III sold 12,000,000 copies, so what the fuck do I know!

It is true to many cooks in the kitchen, shit stew will taste like shit, even with sprinkles of salt, sugar to enhance the flavor