Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has predicted the videogame market will expand by 50 percent over the next four years.
Speaking while in attendance at the Leipzig Games Convention, Guillemot said, "There are so many new customers to the business; this is going to grow the market tremendously. I expect the market to grow by 50 percent in the next four years. It's a very exciting time for all the developers and publishers."
Much of the growth is expected to come via "casual" games that appeal to demographics beyond the typical gamer market. The success of Nintendo's Wii console is seen as a prime example of the importance of the casual audience, which includes older users, women and families with young children. Ubisoft recently unveiled a "Games For Everyone" line to exploit the market, and on Wednesday announced Cranium Kabookii, based on the board game Cranium, as part of that line.
Guillemot said casual game development typically costs between $1.5 million and $5.5 million per title, depending on the number of platforms on which the game is developed; a "normal" game for the Wii costs $7 million to $13.5 million in comparison, while costs for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 systems are double that amount.
Guillemot added that Ubisoft's casual games division was "extremely profitable," and helped finance early-stage development of releases for next-gen consoles. He also predicted casual game sales will make up 20 percent of Ubisoft's revenue this up, doubling last year's mark of ten percent.