Ubisoft Names New Head for Shanghai Studio Amid Challenging Market Conditions
Updated: Jan 5
French video gaming company Ubisoft Entertainment has appointed Yang Zhihong as the new managing director for Ubisoft Shanghai, starting from the beginning of 2024.
Yang, a Chinese native with nearly 20 years of experience, will be taking over from Jean-Francois Vallee, who will be leading Ubisoft's studios in Southeast Asia and India.
Ubisoft's decision to adjust its China business comes in response to the challenging market conditions and regulatory crackdown in the country. The company closed its official online store on Tmall earlier this year, signaling a shift in its strategy amid falling revenue and cost-reduction efforts.
Foreign video game developers have faced increased scrutiny in China, with gaming content now subject to censorship similar to TV dramas and films. Ubisoft, however, remains committed to the Chinese market and aims to elevate Ubisoft Shanghai into a world-class studio. Yang and his team will focus on developing expertise in creating open worlds, operating live games and launching successful games tailored to the Chinese market.
The personnel change at Ubisoft Shanghai coincides with the broader struggles in China's gaming industry. Sluggish consumer spending and regulatory challenges have impacted the market, leading to job cuts and project closures. In the first half of 2023, overall revenue in China's gaming industry fell by 2.4% year-on-year, while the number of gamers remained relatively unchanged.
Ubisoft's appointment of Yang Zhihong as the new managing director for Ubisoft Shanghai.
Ubisoft's adjustment of its China business amid challenging market conditions.
The closure of Ubisoft's official online store on Tmall and cost-reduction efforts.
Increased scrutiny and censorship of foreign video game developers in China.
The focus on developing expertise in creating open worlds and launching successful games in the Chinese market.