You'd think becoming the leading third party publisher for Nintendo's Wii U console would be expensive, but according to Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot, the company has not invested much money in R&D for it.
Speaking to investors, Guillemot revealed just how cheap – relatively – it is to develop new games for the console. Console ports are even less, he added.
"Out of seven games we are planning to launch, five games are ports, so those are games for which there is quite small reinvestments to do," Guillemot told investors (via NeoGAF).
Guillemot did note that the two original Wii U titles, ZombiU and Rayman Legends, are the most expensive to develop, but that the investment is still significantly less than that of some of their other multiplatform franchises, like Assassin's Creed – which also happens to be one of the titles being ported to the Wii U.
Rather than big production value, Guillemot shared Ubisoft's strategy for innovation with the Wii U.
"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."
"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," he concluded. "So together I don't think we have a huge investment on the Wii U."
Back in April, Ubisoff's senior VP of sales and marketing, Tony Keys, said the company was positioning itself to be the leading third party publisher on the Wii U. With games like Assassin's Creed 3, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online, Raving Rabbids, and Killer Freaks from Outer Space in development, there's no reason why they can't be.D
Despite Guillemot's beliefs that the Wii U can have "great success", it's nice to know that if the Wii U turns out to be a flop Ubisoft hasn't invested too much in R&D. Of course, Ubisoft and I clearly have different definitions of "expensive".
Last week, Ubisoft reported sales were up 27.2% in Q1 2012-2013 compared tot he same period of 2011-12. Looking forward, the company confirmed a "medium term goal" looking to capitalize on the arrival of next-gen consoles, like the Wii U, and the growing free-to-play market.