In context: Porting a video game from PC to console or vice versa has its costs. But what if you are just porting from PC desktop to PC streaming? According to Ubisoft's CEO and CFO, the potential profits versus the costs of porting to Google's upcoming Stadia streaming service are attractive.
Earlier this week Ubisoft revealed its complete library for its upcoming subscription service Uplay+. The company has committed to offering Uplay+ to Stadia users. Of course, this cost at the cost of porting the games to the Stadia platform.
Since the games are essentially just running on high-end gaming rigs in the cloud, one would think that the porting costs would be minimal. Indeed, in an earnings call Wednesday, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said the return on investment for Stadia is looking good.
“The extra cost to put [into making] sure the games work well on Stadia is not that high,” Guillemot said in response to a question regarding the R&D costs for Stadia versus consoles. “It's part now of our pipelines, and we have a good relationship with Stadia to make sure it is profitable for us.”
Chief Financial Officer Frederick Duguet concurred saying, “On the platform commission, we will let Google talk about. What we can just say is that the financial equation is good for us.”
Neither exec provided specific financial details, but Guillemot noted that these low costs only apply to current titles. Future “2.0 types of games,” as he referred to them, will need more work, and thus will cost more to port.
Additionally, much of the early work to ensure the games would run well from the cloud was done last year when Ubisoft collaborated on bring Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to the Project Stream beta. With streaming optimizations already in the bag, porting the rest of the library should go pretty smoothly.
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