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What is Ubisoft up to?


In a recent interview with MCVUK, Ubisoft’s UK sales director Darren Bowen spoke about the global reach of Ubisoft’s future business plans, from reaching new markets to continuing the push of next-gen gaming.

A key factor in Ubisoft’s plan is seeking new opportunities across the entire globe, by creating bespoke plans to maximise business in each region. They are particularly looking at new key areas with a potential for growth, such as the Balkans in southern Europe.

Russia is a vital part of their global strategy, where vastly growing business lead Ubisoft to open offices in Moscow. The recent economic and political troubles in Russia create challenges, Bowen said, which he says means that they must work harder and closer with local partners to be able to comfortably persist through economic downturns.

Ubisoft also has a strong presence in South Africa. Far Cry is hailed as a leading brand following the success of Far Cry 2, which was set in the African bush.

The Middle East and North African (MENA) zone is an area of particular interest. With a new MENA territory manager, Ubisoft want to deepen their understanding of the customer base of the region, which is a considerable percentage of their export region. They are also using local knowledge to release censored and culture-sensitive versions of games like Watch Dogs and Far Cry 4.

For the French company, the UK remains one of their most important markets. Bowen describes it as “one of the first and strongest markets in new-generation gaming.” They have a dedicated export team that use their expert skills honed in the UK market across the globe.

Their global reach goes beyond focusing on their games themselves. Ubisoft have a comprehensive advertising plan that reaches a “targeted, yet wide” audience across the globe. Recent ad campaigns have included sponsoring Game of Thrones on TV South Africa, advertising during the Greek basketball championships and showing adverts during cinema screenings of the recent film Interstellar.

Ubisoft are expecting to see massive changes in these developing market regions. This includes exponential growth in relation to increased presence of the current gen PS4 and Xbox One, while also seeing the decline of the past gen PS3 and Xbox 360. The publisher also continues to build trade relationship with wholesale distributors for further developing the wholesale markets for its titles.

Just as they will be expanding their business around the world, Ubisoft will also increasing its team with new employees for their different regions. Primarily, Bowen said, this is so they can capitalise on the specialised customer and market knowledge of specific countries.

Bowen said that Ubisoft “are no longer solely about putting boxes in distributors’ warehouses, but creating brand awareness. [They] are strategically planning marketing campaigns specific to all countries, making sure we use our marketing expertise alongside distributors’ local knowledge to get deeper market penetration.”

With their upcoming roster of games that includes Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Rainbow Six Siege and The Division, Ubisoft are poised to push the games industry to greater heights, both into the developing world and into the future of gaming.

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