French game publisher Ubisoft announced on Friday the creation of a digital game publishing business, the aim of which is to focus on online and phone-based games. The digital publishing division is headed by former Microsoft game developer Chris Early.
So far, Ubisoft hasn’t applied focus to online games. Their forays into the business area have so far been ad hoc, tossing games out there every now and then to see if they would sink or swim. According to VentureBeat, that’s all going to change. The new business will receive its own development resources and budget with the sole goal of making digital online games. Early will be additionally providing support for the creation of Facebook and iPhone games.
Ubisoft’s long term goal is to ensure the successful launch of games on digital platforms concurrent with the launch of major titles on consoles and PC. Early says that ultimately, Ubisoft wants to have a tenth of the online game market in the West. He says, “Our focus on digital publishing will be about operating games as an online service.” But, he admits, “We have some catching up to do.” Does this mean we’ll start seeing successful Ubisoft franchises, like Prince of Persia or Splinter Cell, get their own Facebook games?