With gaming as an industry picking up pace, stakeholders remain upbeat regarding the potential of India in the industry, and how it may grow. According to Jean-Philippe Pieuchot, this potential is directly translating to Ubisoft’s India studio being more directly in AAA game development in various fields, through collaborations and partnerships with Ubisoft’s bigger and better known studios such as Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto.
“For us at Ubisoft Pune, it is really about being associated with the main studios at Ubisoft, to ensure that we can get the required expertise on a specific background for our house," Pieuchot explains. "What we need to ensure in India is that we have enough sets of collaborations coming along from various Ubisoft studios, and learn from different scopes of skills. What I’m saying about India is the same for the rest of the world as well -- it takes time, and depends on the industry to move fast so that individuals can learn fast and anticipate changes. You grow set by set, and develop a studio in accordance to the demands of the global industry."
Elucidating on one such instance, Pieuchot says that a lot of work is being done in India on mobile game development, in collaboration with the Ubisoft Abu Dhabi studio. While mobile games presumably take lesser resources than the AAA titles, the former also requires a collaborative effort, since the number of elements in a game are extensive. On this note, the involvement of a game studio in the building of a AAA title, such as the Assassin’s Creed and Ghost Recon franchises, provides a good measure of the overall abilities of a studio, and areas that it lacks in.
As Pieuchot says, "It’s a set of diverse entities that we have in India, which include aspects such as quality control and production through our association on flagship games, and sometimes even on mobile games. This defines our collaboration across a wide range of games, and not just on AAA titles. The latter is what we aim to achieve more with our teams, and we will take it in steps. Some collaboration is already happening on various parts of AAA programming, and from here, we will move on and grow our expertise in various skill sets, which include art, 3D art, environment and character creation. This will further help us move on to a wider range of expertise areas, such as level art, level design, world creation and so on."
Pieuchot believes that this is the first step towards more developers from India contributing to AAA or flagship games, from major houses such as Ubisoft itself. One such example is the upcoming Ghost Recon Breakpoint, where Ubisoft Pune has played a significant role in the quality control process. However, Pieuchot also believes that the creation of a AAA title will always involve collaboration across multiple studios. As he says, "It is very difficult, demanding and challenging for teams to achieve the requisite quality and overall experience required for a flagship title, and it is even more rare to get the requisite in one country."