It’s no secret that big publishers spend small fortunes on marketing, but it’s rare that we get to put actual numbers to it. Here’s one: Ubisoft are paying approximately 11 million Swedish krona (around £940k/$1.23m) for one trailer. That’s according to the company who this week announced they’ve signed an agreement with Ubisoft to create a trailer. You probably don’t know their name but you might know some of their work, like the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer from E3 2019 which revealed virtual Keanu Reeves.
“Bublar’s subsidiary Goodbye Kansas has signed an agreement to produce a game trailer for the French game developer Ubisoft,” their announcement said. “The order value amounts to approximately SEK 11 million.” They’ll deliver it early next year. Plain and simple.
Goodbye Kansas have worked with Ubisoft before, including on a Watch Dogs 2 season pass trailer and characters for Wildlands marketing. They’ll be making this new one together with DDB Paris, a marketing agency behind a Watch Dogs 2 cinematic trailer, and French production company Eddy. Goodbye Kansas also did that there Keanu with CD Projekt Red:
Look, this announcement is not exciting. It says we can probably expect another flashy CGI trailer (I assume, given everyone’s past work) which doesn’t represent a game in the slightest. It gives no hint of any secret upcoming games. The announcement is made for the industry, not Ubisoft fans. But for casual observers of the industry, this is one of the rare times we hear anything about how much marketing costs. It’s rare we hear how much anything costs big publishers. EA were reportedly spending two or three times as much on marketing as development back in 2009, but that info’s too old to be any use.
£1 million is not how much every cinematic trailer costs, of course. Figures could vary wildly with style, length, scale, fanciness, cast, and all sorts of things. But next time you see a flash CGI vid and wonder “How much did that cost them?”, you might at least have a ballpark figure to refer to. It’s an interesting number to note.