Ubisoft said this week that it’s expanding into India. The French multinational, one of the top game publishers (it counts the hits Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia among its large, diverse library), is purchasing a game development studio in Pune (near Mumbai) with stated plans to build it up into a staff of 200 by next year — and more than twice that in the coming years.
Given India’s burgeoning middle class and ever-expanding pool of skilled tech workers, the move was understandable. Perhaps recognizing that fact, Electronic Arts and Microsoft joined with several Indian firms to form the Indian Games Industry and Trade Association back in 2006; it’s no surprise other major Western publishers are following suit.
What kind of games will Ubisoft develop in India? Well, the studio Ubisoft acquired was a division of Gameloft, which specializes in games for handheld consoles and mobiles, recently unveiled plans to port their titles to the Wii, and expects to release 15 games for the iPhone by the end of 2008. Assuming Ubisoft retains that focus when it takes over from Gameloft (and there’s no reason to doubt that), I’d expect to see more of the same on a vastly increased output level. Only made in India.