Jason Schreier:is an NYC-based freelance reporter/editor who writes for Wired.com, the Onion News Network, and a number of other sites and publications. His work has also been featured in Time, CNN, and NPR. He graduated NYU in 2009 (go Violets!) and is a hopeless, yet passionate Jets/Nets fan. You can follow him on twitter@JasonSchreier
Q: First of all, could you tell me a bit about what you guys are doing here?
A: Sure, Ubisoft just finished E3. We’re the third-largest provider of video games in the world. So we had a very successful E3, and this is kind of the next step for us in the licensing arena. Ubisoft wants to be known as an entertainment company, not just a video game company so we’re branching out into all areas of licensing, film, and of course consumer products in terms of t-shirts, toys, accessories, figurines, publishing. So we’re looking forward to meeting new partners here this week. We have appointments scheduled on the half-hour for three days – we’re very excited.
Q: I know you guys have the Ghost Recon brand and Assassin’s Creed – could you tell me a bit about the other brands you have here?
A: Those are core games for us. Our entertainment and dance genres have been very good. Just Dance just reached 14 million units. We have Michael Jackson: The Experience attached to that, and Just Dance for Kids. And then in the shooter format, we’re very excited for next spring, we’ll be launching Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Those are key games for us.
Then there’s Raving Rabbids, kind of an iconic brand for us that does really well in Europe. And our Petz series, which is a caring, nurturing game geared primarily towards girls. We’ll be lasting the MMO, online version in June. At the show here we’re looking to meet with different partners in toy and plush, cause we have an electronic element that will be a part of that game as well.
Q: So for your big brands, like Ghost Recon and Assassin’s Creed, what kind of franchise directions are you looking toward?
A: We’ve got great partners in figurines, so they have toys that are the iconic characters from Assassin’s Creed – and then we have multiple versions, so the 4-inch figurine, then the bigger 7-inch figurine. We’ll also be speaking with a few people to work on a collectors’ series with more of a 12 to 15-inch, higher end. So there’s tremendous interest there, plus apparel, plus accessories, custom controllers, strategy keys.
Q: Great! So is there anything else you’d like to share?
A: We’ll see how today goes, we’re very busy! We also have our European counterparts here, from the French office, which is pretty good and they also have appointments. The Licensing Expo I think has done a good job of bringing in people from all around the world, so we brought our Australian office here as well as our Paris office.