Ubisoft has not had the best news of late. The launch of the much-anticipated Assassin's Creed Unity has been calamitous, with serious issues with frame rates and online connectivity, and even some French politicians criticizing the game's historical accuracy. The game's launch, and subsequent mixed reviews, led to the company receiving a knock in stock prices.
The publisher will now be thankful to have a bit of extra good news to alongside the positive reception of Far Cry 4. It's been revealed that Child of Light has turned a profit. Child of Light was an experiment from the publisher in smaller-scale development, with an emphasis on creative ideas. The game, described as an "interactive poem," was the brainchild of Far Cry 3's Creative Directer Patrick Plourde. Although there were some problems with the game's balance, it was an interesting and visually-impressive experiment, and one that has gained a Game of the Year nomination at the Canadian Videogame Awards.
Now it's been announced that Child of Light was a commercial - as well as critical - success, and that the game has made a profit. The news was revealed by Plourde when speaking at the GameON: Finance conference in Toronto on Thursday. "It's not as profitable as Assassin's Creed is profitable, but it's profitable enough that we would have been able to fund a sequel," said Plourde.
Plourde also discussed the development process, and that he and his team were given the chance to have real creativity after working on Far Cry 3. "I didn't want to make Far Cry 3," said Plourde, "but they said 'Pat, if you do that and help build that brand, we're going to give you a free shot at the game you want." At most, Child of Light's team was made up of 40 individuals, and Plourde also revealed that the overall cost was "a couple of million."
The success of Child of Light has perhaps vindicated Ubisoft's decision to allow its developers to experiment alongside their work with AAA titles. It's also been revealed that Far Cry 4 creative director Alex Hutchinson has had a low-budget game greenlit. Hutchinson gave a successful pitch to the publisher, and will now be able to work on his own personal game.
Speaking in an interview with CVG, Hutchinson revealed that he was now able to work on a personal project after the completion of Far Cry 4. "I've got clearance along with a bunch of people from Assassin's Creed 3 and Assassin's Creed 4 for to go off and do something new," said Hutchinson. "The challenge then is to keep costs down and make something that competes at a high level." If this project is as successful as fellow smaller projects like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Child of Light, it's likely Ubisoft will continue to fund smaller, creative projects. That's good for gamers and the publisher.
Meanwhile, Alex Hutchinson's Far Cry 4 is now upon us. As far as first impressions go, it's certainly made a good one. Far Cry 4 is great for those who enjoyed the action-packed fun of its predecessor Far Cry 3, with a similar style of gameplay with more polish. Be sure to stay tuned for our in-depth review soon.