Few studios survive for three decades, and doing so requires a willingness to change with the times

Ubisoft Reflections
The games industry affords very few opportunities to celebrate a 30th birthday. New technologies emerge, the marketplace shifts, companies go bust through mistakes and mismanagement. These are harsh realities in any kind of business, but there have been few more challenging in the last ten years than game development. Reflections is a survivor. One of the rare chances to raise a glass to a studio that has kept its seat at the top table for three decades

And Will Musson has been there for two of them. The sixth employee of Reflections Interactive, Musson joined the studio just before work started on Destruction Derby, a key early release for Sony's new, fangled PlayStation console. It's safe to say that the game industry was very different back then, and yet Reflections has weathered the many changes since, changes that ultimately got the better of all but a few of its peers.

"A lot of studios have gone down," Musson says as we talk in his office, the walls adorned with posters from the numerous AAA projects that were developed at the studio. "And there'll be another week and we'll see another studio go down. We have been resilient to that, and I think it's because we never stand still.

"A lot of studios have gone down. We have been resilient to that, and I think it's because we never stand still"
"We're not an arrogant studio. We don't think we're the best. We think, 'We're good. But how do we get better?' That's helped us be more open to change down the years. Even during Driver [Reflections' influential open-world driving game] we had multiple projects. Some of which didn't come out, but we were always trying new things and trying to protect ourselves at even that early stage."

Of course, there's one detail that I haven't mentioned yet. A detail that, when it comes to telling the story of this studio as it reaches its 30th year, is the most crucial and instructive of all. This is, after all, Ubisoft Reflections, and it has born the name of the French publisher for nearly a third of its lifetime. The desire to improve and experiment has no doubt been a huge advantage over the years, but the helping hand of a wealthy and growing parent company cannot be discounted. Even at the time, Musson says, the security Ubisoft could offer against the spiralling cost of development was an obvious advantage.
Read article by Matthew Handrahan here: http://www.gamesindustry.biz