Ubisoft Milan appears to have a bright future ahead of it, one with immediate growth and increased creative opportunity, thanks to the “game changing” success of the recently released, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
The release of Nintendo Switch exclusive Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was likely the first time many people encountered the name of Ubisoft Milan. However, that isn’t to say its new on the block, in fact, it’s a studio that has been around for quite some time: specifically since 1998. Over its 19-year history it has worked on a variety of classic Ubisoft properties, such as Assassin’s Creed, Rayman, and Splinter Cell. But only ever as a support studio, never as the lead.
But after 19 years that has finally changed, thanks to the release of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. And while it was a long wait for the Italian studio, it was an arrival it made the most off: shipping a critically acclaimed game within the most iconic video game franchise this industry has ever seen, Mario.
The most succesful non-Nintendo title on the Switch to date, boasting an average review score of 85 on Metacritic, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is plainly game-changer for Ubisoft Milan according to general manager Dario Migliavacca.
“We really feel that, in this moment, all the stars are well aligned,”Migliavacca said. “I just met yesterday my boss, the managing director of all the studios, and we really feel the trust: the head office, our editorial team, Nintendo, other studios, the players, the community. It’s a great joy. We are now reaching eight to ten times more applications than in the past. This is really, really promising. We have a growth plan in our minds… I see a really brilliant future in front of us.”
The game’s creative director Davide Soliani further revealed that there is a “medium-term” plan to add 20 people to the team in every key area. These additions will happen over the next eight to twelve months, with the “possibility to grow much more.” Soliani adds that the success of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle simply opens up a lot of possibilities, and that while it cannot complete with some of the larger Ubisoft studios right now, the team possesses really strong skills that can give it an advantage going forward. Soliani concludes:
“I would say that, today, people can think about Ubisoft Milan as a place to build a career.”