Careers at Ubisoft
Ubisoft’s mission is to deliver original and memorable gaming experiences across all popular platforms.
In 1984 the five Guillemot Brothers – Yves, Christian, Michel, Claude, and Gerard – took over their parents’ mail-order company in France. Only in their 20s, they transformed it into Guillemot Informatique, a provider of computer hardware and accessories. However, they soon realized that software represented a greater opportunity, as hardware platforms were becoming standardized.
In 1986 the brothers founded a second firm focused on computer software – Ubisoft. It imported foreign titles and distributed them to French retailers. By 1988, it had managed to garner the business of major developers, including Electronic Arts, Microprose, Sierra, and Novalogic. The vendors gave Ubisoft a distribution license for France, then later a license for other countries.
In 1989 the company launched its first foreign subsidiary in England; that was soon followed by units in Germany and the U.S. At the time the introduction of new gaming consoles by outfits such as Nintendo and Sega were beginning to spur the home gaming market. Ubisoft took advantage of this trend by being quick to add new titles to its lineup, such as “Street Racer” and “Star Wars”.
In the 1990s the company began preparing to enter the software production business. The first step came in 1993 when it obtained licenses from Sega and Sony to develop software for their gaming platforms. In 1994, it established its own production house, which consisted of various studios focused on specialized areas. This allowed Ubisoft to keep on top of technological advances.
In 1995 Ubisoft unveiled its first game, “Rayman”, featuring an armless, legless protagonist whose mission was to save the world. The title was a major global hit, and over the next few years the firm released several successful new games in the family and children’s category. By 2001, Rayman and its sequels had sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, and the character became the basis for a TV series.
The 2000s saw significant growth. Ubisoft opened new production offices in Australia, Canada, and China. It also signed numerous distribution and licensing agreements and acquired strong brands such as Blue Byte, Red Storm, and Sinister Games. The additions helped to bolster its portfolio. At that point, Ubisoft had staked a place as one of the top video game developers in the world.
Business model of Ubisoft
Ubisoft has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customers. The company produces and distributes software for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Ubisoft offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, cost reduction, and brand/status.
The company offers accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It acquired numerous video game studios in the past two decades, enabling it to build a large library of strong and popular titles.
The company reduces costs by providing deals. Customers who join the Ubisoft Club earn “units” based on the extent of their game play. The units can then be used to earn shop discounts, as well as over 600 rewards in 90 games and over 200 badges and avatars.
The company has established a strong brand as a result of its success. It bills itself as the third largest independent video game company in the world. It has also developed titles for several acclaimed and popular video game franchises, including “Assassin’s Creed”, “Prince of Persia”, and “Rainbow Six.”
Ubisoft’s main channels are physical retail stores and online retail websites (its own and those of third party distributors). The company promotes its offering through its social media pages, online and TV advertising, and attendance of conferences.
Ubisoft’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website provides answers to common questions. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of customer support for those with Uplay accounts and a community element in the form of peer forums.
Ubisoft’s business model entails designing, developing, and distributing software titles for its customers; it also distributes titles by third parties.
Ubisoft relies on the following companies for physical and/or online distribution of its titles:
- Best Buy
- Good Old Games
- Ponto Frio
- Full Games
- GameFan Shop
- Humble Bundle
Ubisoft’s main resource is its software development staff, which produces its titles. The company claims to have the second-largest number of in-house development employees in the world. It also relies on sales and customer service staff for promotion and support, respectively.
Ubisoft has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is research and development costs, a fixed expense. Other major drivers are cost of sales, a variable expense, and marketing and administration, both fixed costs.
Ubisoft has three revenue streams:
Software Sales – Revenues generated from the sale of gaming software
Licenses – Revenues generated from the issuing of licenses for software
Services – Revenues generated from development and publishing services provided on behalf of third parties
info: Yves earned a degree at the Institut de Petites et Moyennes Entreprises. He previously served as VP of Sales at Guillemot Corporation and Executive VP of Strategy and Development at GameLoft, and serves as VP of Loft.com SA and Ludiwap SA.
info: Serge also acts as Executive Editorial Director at Ubisoft. He previously served as an Executive Director of Worldwide Content Strategy at the company.
info: Alain earned a business degree from the Ecole Supérieure de Gestion business school. He previously served as Sales Director of Europe, Managing Director of France, and Managing Director of EMEA Territories at Ubisoft.
info: Christine earned a postgraduate degree in applied foreign languages. She previously served as Executive VP of Worldwide Production and Managing Director of International Production at Ubisoft.
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