Yoan Fanise, the content director for the award-winning historical adventure game Valiant Hearts: The Great War, has left Ubisoft after 14 years with the company in order to pursue indie development.
"It was a very hard decision. The last 14 years in Ubisoft are unforgettable; it is like a family. I am proud to have been part of some of the most creative teams in the industry," Fanise told Gamasutra.
Fanise got started with Ubisoft working on Beyond Good & Evil, which had a development team of around 30 people. From there, he moved onto the Assassin's Creed franchise, and grew weary of the growing development scale that lost the unique mood of a small team.
"The more we grew, the more this mood diminished. 100, 250, 500 people…it was necessary due to the technical evolution and AAA requirements, but on the creative and human side something was missing," Fanise continued.
This is why, after Assassin's Creed III, he decided to restart Valiant Hearts, the creative vision of artist Paul Tumelaire. Despite the game's critical and commercial success, with numerous award nominations and over a million downloads, Fanise said games like that are still dwarfed by blockbusters like Assassin's Creed.
"I mean, business-wise, even if the game is a success, with over a million players and many awards, this is still small revenue compared to blockbusters. That's the harsh reality," he said.
When asked what he plans to do next, Fanise said that he's still looking at his options to find the one that's most exciting, but the indie scene has his attention. "Why not go real indie after have been called 'fake indie' during my 2 years on Valiant Hearts?"