In his keynote at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival attended by Gamasutra, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has been focusing on the power of gaming for the non-gamer, commenting that "we have a huge opportunity as an industry [for] people to express who they are" through games.
As part of his overarching opening speech held at EIF, Ubisoft's Guillemot predicted that the video game market is to grow 50% in the next four years, due to new technology powerful consoles, accessibility-focused consoles and Web 2.0's ability to give creative power to individuals.
Guillemot commented of this growth potential: "We have a huge opportunity as an industry [for] people to express who they are, how creative they are and build their community of friends online. Games give you a way to do something that people can recognize."
Later in his keynote, he hinted at an upcoming Ubisoft casual, collaborative-oriented title: "We're announcing a new game in the next few weeks for the family to play together. We have created the Imagine brand for young girls and the My Life Coach brand [for casual games] that are easy to understand."
The Ubisoft CEO went on to further discuss the opportunities of casual gaming: "We have to create games that will please these new non-gamers... My wife plays games: she's happy to play [Wii] Tennis
. It really changed the way the machine was perceived, even in my family."
He also addressed recruitment plans for the French-headquartered publisher: "To make sure we can make blockbuster products we are recruiting about 500 people a year, and plan to go to 600 to 900 in the next few years."
Underscoring Ubisoft's early adoption for the casual-specific Nintendo Wii and DS, Guillemot mentioned that the firm has created a new internal group specifically to expand on its family friendly porfolio in the Wii and DS market, commenting: "We do five times more testing in this group", hiring user interface specialists "...so that we can understand faster what the needs are in creating these games, to understand the steps that make them happy to play."
Ending, Guillemot commented: "We will continue to make complex games, but also easy games. We are considering putting a monitoring program in games, so that if you fail, someone will come and help you. If you are stuck in a game, we will help you find solutions."
His conclusion? "Our competition is not just video games, but books, films, the internet, theatre and music. We have to make sure that we do well to keep [the people who are coming to gaming] for the long term. We have to make sure our industry image is improved to allow us to attract new talent."