Child of Light, the side-scrolling RPG from Patrick Plourde and a small team of Ubisoft developers, made serious money.
Child of Light is one of a number of titles like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Valiant Hearts which are the result of a new initiative at Ubisoft to try out smaller projects and give developers creative freedom and control.
Speaking to GamesIndustry, Plourde said the project more than made back Ubisoft’s investment in it.
“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,” Plourde said.
“Or if it had been my company, I would be driving a Ferrari and doing donuts.”
That probably sounds like a lot of money, but for a company as big as Ubisoft it may be just a blip in the charts and not of much interest to investors. Still, the existence of Child of Light and similar endeavours, like Alex Hutchinson’s upcoming project, creates diversity in the publisher’s catalogue and is a good way to foster and reward talented development staff.
“The main reason why I got greenlit on the project was because I had carte blanche for making Far Cry 3,” Plourde said.
“I didn’t want to make Far Cry 3, 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.'”
Plourde said that the personal creative project was rewarding in a way big triple-A games had not been, as his playable poem touched players in different ways.
Child of Light cost Ubisoft a “couple of million”, mostly salaries for the 40 staff who worked on bringing it to multiple platforms at launch.