Ubisoft CEO: Smurfs & Co. gained 4.2 million players with no marketing

The Smurfs & Co.
The Smurfs & Co.

And now, The Smurfs & Co. is sitting pretty with over 9 million monthly players since its launch just over a month ago. During an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot revealed, "Smurfs went from zero to 4.2 million without marketing in two weeks."

While these might not be The Sims Social numbers, it speaks volumes to the power social games with strong brands behind them have on Facebook. This is especially considering Ubisoft conducted zero advertising (the main method of growth for Facebook games these days) for The Smurfs & Co. in that time period. That's the power of The Smurfs for ya, I guess.

Guillemont continued," So it's amazing how fast, when the content is adapted, those products can grow. So it really shows that people are very interested by new content in games. So we will continue to develop and make sure the quality of the game experience is adapted to what people are looking for."

In other words, the best way to for a Facebook game to grow is the keep it current, according to Guillemont. (So, that's whyZynga updates its games incessantly!) The Ubisoft boss went on to reveal to GamesIndustry.biz just why it's in on the rapidly growing free-to-play and social games movement: "In the long term there's no reason why the casual would not overcome the hardcore business because there are more people that are interested in buying casual."

So, if you ask Guillemont, casual (and free-to-play) are the way to go, which already accounted for 40 percent of the company's revenue in 2010. And Ubisoft is certainly not alone--EA has already spent over $1 billion on Facebook and mobile games, which is looking to already be paying off. Other traditional companies are slowly dipping their feet, while a legion of originally hardcore game designers have Facebook Credits twinkling in their eyes.

Does this mean no more Assassin's Creed or Ghost Recon for the hardcore crowd? Of course not, but I'm willing to bet that it does mean far more blue creatures in white hats in a not-so-little place called Facebook.

Do you agree that casual games could overtake hardcore games in the future? What do you think of The Smurfs & Co. so far, what brands do you hope Ubisoft brings to Facebook next? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.