Given that there are challenges with emerging markets, MyGaming asked Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag developer Antoine Fortier-Auclair and Watch Dogs lead designer Danny Belanger if the Ubisoft devs had any advice for aspiring South African developers.
“Go indie, just make a ‘thing’”, emphasised Fortier-Auclair. “If you want to get into games, just try make a game. With the Internet and all the tools at our disposal, it’s not too hard to at least try and make something.”
“That said, it’s a lot of work and even if you are passionate, it’s difficult. There’s a technicality of making games that is beyond other media forms like movies, so there’s so many things to consider, but while the reality is hard, the reward is so satisfying.”
“It’s a thing that’s going to evolve naturally in South Africa, and as someone who has visited here, I’m excited to see how it evolves.”
Danny Belanger, lead designer on Watch Dogs also offered up some advice for aspiring South African developers.
“In emerging markets like South Africa, indie and mobile games are doing so well and are inexpensive to produce. These great games don’t require big teams, so its about creating something that people want. Something that is online and has connectivity to other players is a really good angle at this point in time,” said Belanger.
Fortier-Auclair was complimentary of South Africa and the warm welcome he received, saying that SA has a lot to offer in terms of a game development location, and a destination in general.
“After hearing my accent, a South African fan came up to me and asked if I was a developer. I said ‘yeah’ and told him what I work on, and he asked if he could shake my hand. It may seem small but was mindblowing and made my weekend.”
“The fans have been great in SA and after coming here and getting the response we have, I feel refuelled and have a sense of purpose going back to the studio,” said Fortier-Auclair.