Ubisoft Montreal’s Child Of Light is a new JRPG-inspired game built with UbiArt
Child Of Light is a new JRPG-inspired game in development at Ubisoft Montreal, the game’s director has confirmed during his GDC talk this morning. It is being developed using Ubisoft Montpellier’s UbiArt tech, which powers Rayman Origins and Legends, and is set for a download-only Winter release. No official assets have been released thus far.
Ubisoft Montreal’s Patrick Plourde, formerly director of Far Cry 3, also described the processes behind getting a smaller project like Child Of Light greenlit within a large studio during his GDC Europe talk.
The easiest game to pitch right now, he said, would be a free to play game on mobile and tablets with a strong existing IP attached to it, but Child Of Light takes quite the opposite approach. It is a story-driven, JRPG-style game with a female lead protagonist – “a proactive character, not a Cinderella waiting around,” said Plourde – built by a small team of around 30. Around a third of that team are women, the highest ever female/male ratio on a project at Ubisoft Montreal.
It’s also the first of what appears to be a new approach to game development at Ubisoft Montreal, backed by CEO Yannis Mallat, which aims to make the studio more creative. ”It’s easy to be perceived as the Assassin’s Creed meat factory,” said Plourde, noting that several senior veterans at the studio had encountered a little fatigue from working on the series for so long. As a result, Child Of Light has “some of the most senior team members in the company,” working on it.
Plourde said that he pitched it to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot as a potential next gen IP, leveraging the existing in-house UbiArt tech to create “a prestige title at a low cost.”
Plourde added that he is also working on another smaller game project at Ubisoft Montreal, one even more experimental. The idea internally is to act more like an incubator, releasing new kinds of games – even “stuff that fails” – until it lands upon a good, original, successful release. Plourde also encouraged other large studio to adopt this approach – “If we’re just boiling stuff down to formula, it’s not really entertaining,” he concluded.