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Gameloft has long been a big name in mobile publishing, but the company’s latest hit, Disney’s Dreamlight Valley, is exclusive to consoles and PCs. Shortly after its September 6 release, it was revealed that the game built a player base of one millionand parent company Vivendi attributed the game to a 48% increase in Gameloft’s revenue year-over-year.
Talk with GamesIndustry.bizGeneral Manager and Chief Financial Officer of Gameloft, Alexandre de Rochefort, explains that the expansion to consoles and PCs is motivated by a desire to transform the historic mobile specialist into a major multiplatform publisher.
“Because of the technical convergence between what we can do on an iPhone or an Android phone, we felt like we were more than capable of moving from mobile to console specifically,” says de Rochefort.
He adds, “If we look at the iPhone, we know it’s as powerful, if not more powerful, than a Nintendo Switch, so the step up for us as a developer wasn’t that big.”
If console and PC efforts like Disney’s Dreamlight Valley continue to bear fruit, Gameloft would be open to the idea of porting them to mobile devices.
If console and PC efforts like Disney’s Dreamlight Valley continue to bear fruit, Gameloft would be open to the idea of porting them to mobile devices. De Rochefort acknowledges that while mobile gaming has a large share of the industry market, Gameloft has been a little too dependent on it.
“We tend to forget that the console and PC segment represents half of the market”
“There’s a lot of talk about mobile because it’s the fastest growing segment of the gaming space, but in our opinion sometimes we tend to overdo it and that’s us, a gaming company. mobile games, who are you talking about here,” he admits. “But we tend to forget that the console and PC segment represents half of the market or a little less than half.”
Diversification is not an entirely new concept for business. Gameloft’s publishing business includes both licensed titles and its own existing IPs. De Rochefort says that for the first nine months of the year, two-thirds of its revenue was generated by its brands and series.
He further explains that this figure has been the same for six years. De Rochefort attributes the revenue split to the fact that Gameloft’s IPs are available on different platforms such as its Asphalt series, which is on mobile, PC and console.
He adds, “We mostly try to keep leveraging these brands and pushing them to mobile and console.”
It has also helped the company adapt its business to include different monetization approaches.
“The idea was that going to PC and console would also allow us to be exposed to more than one business model. The free-to-play business model has been dominant over the past 10 years,” said de Rochefort. .
“Going to PC and console will also allow us to be exposed to more than one business model”
“Moving to PC and console was also a way to give us more opportunities. Looking at every game, some games are just better suited to a high-end business model.”
Dreamlight Valley, for example, is a licensed game but unlike most Gameloft games, it has no microtransactions. De Rochefort explains that his exit allowed the company to adopt different monetization business models.
“So we made a deal with Microsoft to have the game available on Game Pass, which exposes us to that subscription model. [the game on] Steam Early Access with the possibility for players to pay for the game between $30 and $70. But it’s a free game at the end of the day,” he said.
De Rochefort actually says that having subscription, free play and paid play models was a good idea to diversify his strategy for the game. After the performance of Dreamlight Valley, he notes that the tiered approach does not will not be a unique scenario.
He adds: “It will not be limited to Dreamlight Valley and it will depend on the type of games and the expectations of the players from what we have seen. But we had that in mind from the beginning, having several business models. for available players.”
Dreamlight Valley drew more than a few comparisons to Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons. However, de Rochefort says that hasn’t influenced Gameloft’s Disney adventure title, which was actually pitched to Gameloft parent Vivendi in 2019, the year before New Horizons debuted and became a phenomenon of the pandemic era.
However, he acknowledges that seeing Animal Crossing’s performance in 2020 was encouraging.
“When we saw Animal Crossing make a killing during confinement, we were pretty happy because it kind of confirms that the idea was pretty good,” he adds.
When reflecting on Dreamlight Valley’s performance so far, de Rochefort points out that it represents the company’s expertise in recognizing and maximizing a game’s market opportunities.
“[Dreamlight Valley] is the biggest release in the company’s history”
De Rochefort explains: “We are not trying to compete against a Call of Duty or [Activision Blizzard] or Take-Two with arcade games.
“We are looking at those [titles] again as a game as a service, as we have done on mobile for ten years. So, we adjust the investment according to the success of the game.
This investment can be scaled up significantly, considering that de Rochefort says, “[Dreamlight Valley] is the biggest release in the company’s history.”
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