Mobile will play “important role” in Ubisoft’s grand plan to reach 5bn players

CEO Yves Guillemot discusses the blurring lines between platforms and regions

Mobile will play “important role” in Ubisoft’s grand plan to reach 5bn players

The games industry is still only in the early stages of development and is set to undergo further “profound transformation”, according to Ubisoft’s CEO.

In a message to shareholders from the publisher’s general meeting earlier this month, Yves Guillemot said while video games now represent the largest entertainment segment, there’s still room to grow.

As he has previously stated, the company expects games to have an audience of five billion players over the next 10 years, an opportunity opened up by the blurring barriers between platforms and regions.

Guillemot added that the growing success of console and PC franchises on mobile, as well as the advent of cloud gaming, “will play an important role in these major developments”.

Adapting franchises to mobile

“For a start, cloud gaming will be enhanced by multi-screen offerings and exciting new experiences with access to unprecedented technological capability,” he said.

“As an indication of the future scale of this transformation, more and more platforms are competing for quality content and access to engaged player communities. Our recent partnerships with Tencent, Epic and Google reflect these trends and the relevance of our positioning.

“In this respect, there are numerous opportunities for Ubisoft to create value: building the audience and player engagement with larger games and more powerful post-launch content – creating new gaming genres, segments and experiences – adapting our console and PC franchises for mobile devices – the advent of the next generation of consoles – seizing the opportunities afforded by streaming and cloud gaming – developing our Uplay platform – investing in artificial intelligence.

“To fully capitalise on all these opportunities, and in a bid to support the group’s growth and continue to grow our profitability over the coming years, we are accelerating investment in our people and studios.

“This organic investment approach has consistently paid off at Ubisoft and has created significant value for the company’s talent, players and shareholders in recent years. We are confident about the future and excited about the opportunities available to us.”

Growing pains

Ubisoft has increasingly been bringing its big IP to mobile over recent years. Such mobile titles include Assassin's Creed Rebellion, Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians and the recently revealed Tom Clancy's Elite Squad.

Despite this, revenue for the company's mobile business declined 24 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2019. The publisher pinned the blame on a lack of new releases, though it would also suggest that Ubisoft's current portfolio has struggled to grow sales through live ops.

As of Q1 2019, mobile represents a seven per cent share of total net bookings for the publisher.

Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of and He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.