Ubisoft Reflections Managing Director: For PS4 “You Need Teams of up to 600 Guys” on Open World Games
Pauline Jacquey recently became the Managing Director of Ubisoft Reflections, a studio who has previously developed titles like Driver: San Francisco and Just Dance 4. Speaking in an interview with GI.biz, she talked about her vast background with Ubisoft and how it would “maybe highlight different strengths in the studio and make them proud of what they do and be happy and working on cool, AAA games.”
One of those AAA games is Watch Dogs, something that Reflections has 90 people working on, representing one third of the overall team. When Pauline talked about whether the studio would be working on its own original IP though, she said, “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.”
Jacquey also added, “We already have interesting technology that we develop for the group that’s linked to what we did in the past, driving. It’s really cool, I think it’s in the top technology you have at Ubisoft. And we have collaboration but we are already doing our own thing, but I can’t talk about it.”
Pauline was then asked if she has to factor in the challenges of a new console into the development costs:
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.
Finally, she talked about the socials aspects of the PS4 by saying, “we were waiting for something like this to take shape, we knew that social communities and sharing was very important in next-gen.”
What do you think of the dev team sizes for next-gen? Let us know in the comments below.