Ubisoft CEO Reflects On Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Development
In an extensive IGN Unfiltered interview, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has once again discussed the rare chance that the publisher was given to work with Nintendo on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
That started with the question as to whether he was involved in making the turn-based tactical role-playing crossover happen, to which Guillemot replied:
“Yes, it comes to me for sure. Because it’s really not only a game, it’s really a relationship – a collaboration with Nintendo. The way it happened is our teams at Ubisoft have always been so impressed by what Nintendo was doing that they wanted to collaborate with Nintendo. And, we did so in being early on all the machines Nintendo did and we did a lot on the Wii if you remember, and the Wii U.
“The optimal relationship that we could have was to work with Mr. Miyamoto and for us having that possibility was fantastic because you can learn how he does things, you can get feedback on everything you do. So, that has been an experience that has been really cool for all the members of the company I would say. That’s why it was a discussion we had with Mr. Iwata [and] the person who was organizing the relation between Ubisoft and Nintendo, and so it has been I would say a long discussion and we had to convince, also, Mr. Miyamoto with what we were showing and what we could do. And, step-by-step, they opened the door for us to do Mario + Rabbids [Kingdom Battle].”
Seeing as it was such a high-profile collaboration, Guillemot was asked whether he kept a closer eye on the project compared to others:
“We have gates, so I participate through all the gates of the different games we create, and this one yes for sure it had a lot of attention because it was something totally different from what we were doing. But it was smooth actually, it went very well. The relationship was well established. As for our teams, it was working with God – it was something that they were spending lots of time to make sure it could be perfect.”
When the game was eventually revealed at E3 2017, creative director Davide Soliani was overcome with emotion as Shigeru Miyamoto took to the stage. Guillemot agrees that it was “a wonderful moment” that filled him with pride, reflecting:
“It was a wonderful moment. And it was a wonderful moment for me, too, because seeing a person who was a fan of Nintendo being able to create something that was recognized by Mr. Miyamoto was something that gave me a lot of proudness, I would say. I was really proud to see that kind of thing could happen. And when a person from Ubisoft is happy, I’m always extremely happy.”
And then, asked as to whether we could see a sequel, Guillemot smiled before responding: “We can’t say much today. But we had a good relationship, so let’s see what will come from that.”
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is now available exclusively for Nintendo Switch worldwide.