“My job is similar to being a Ghost in a unit', an interview with our senior producer, Nouredine Abboud

24/03/2016 06:00 PM

This week we had the chance to sit down with Nouredine Abboud, Senior Producer of Ghost Recon Wildlands, and ask him a few questions. The Senior Producer is not only in charge of overseeing the development of a game, but also ensures that different teams at Ubisoft liaise with each other in order to provide an exciting experience for the players.

Today, we're updating the dossier on Senior Producer Nouredine Abboud with all the latest intel.


How long have you been working on the Ghost Recon Wildlands team?

I joined the Ghost Recon Wildlands team at the very beginning. Actually, I was part of a very small team who had a clear mandate: to bring Ghost Recon to the next level. To help us accomplish this, we needed to set up a team of sharpshooters. That was four years ago and hundreds of people have joined the team since then!

What is it like working on Ghost Recon Wildlands?

It's a dream come true. Working on Ghost Recon would be fantastic for any game fan, but having the opportunity to leverage the latest technologies and create the very first military shooter in a massive, dangerous and responsive Open World that you can play entirely in 4 Player Co-Op or solo: WOW!

Explain to us how the Ghost Recon team works together. What’s it like to manage such a large, diverse team?

First, the team is made up of very passionate individuals, all dedicated to Ghost Recon.

My job is similar to being a Ghost in a unit, because we are all highly trained and want to deliver the best experience with Ghost Recon Wildlands. My job is to help all of us achieve our objective. ‎The team is varied, but also very experienced. We all have our special skills, and we all know when to intervene or let others do their job.

How would you describe a typical day at work?

Each day is different. My main task is to be very open to what is happening and to be able to adjust our plans accordingly.

In game development, you often don't know what you'll get until you actually do it. However, since you can't just work by trial and error, you also have to be able to act fast. As soon as you have the feeling that things need to be adjusted, you need to do it. For instance, we have changed our missions many times based on how some of the situations have played out, to ensure the experience matched our game vision. It also means, when needed, changing our organization accordingly.

At the end of the day, we make games and the best way to make fun games is to have fun making them.

What were your main motivations to join Ubisoft and the Ghost Recon team?

I joined Ubisoft to make Ghost Recon games. Ten years ago, after having worked on other games, I was looking at what franchise I wanted to work on.

It just so happened that Ubisoft was looking for a Producer for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, specifically for the PC version. Ghost Recon+PC was all I needed to know to get me interested, so I jumped on board. I've worked with the console team, as well as with guys in Grin, a Swedish studio, and we delivered what I believe to be a great PC game.

Since then, I’ve worked on other games at Ubisoft including Ghost Recon Future Soldier as the Live Producer. I have very good memories of a beta with a fantastic community!

What are the main challenges that you have faced during the development of Ghost Recon Wildlands?

It was easy to decide what to do once we started working on Ghost Recon Wildlands. We have a fantastic creative team, with Eric Couzian, our creative director, and Jean-Marc Geffroy, our creative manager. Creating a gigantic battleground and at the same time letting the players get creative seemed to be a great challenge to tackle.

What was exciting, was to make this happen. Some of the challenges we faced included: what does it mean in terms of technology? How much freedom can we give players without them getting lost? What's the next great Ghost Recon story we want to tell?

What gets you excited when it comes to games?

I've been playing games for more than 30 years, so what I'm excited about is to see how game concepts mature over the years. Some of the RPG mechanics we had on early computers, such as the Atari ST, are still evolving in a game like The Division.

But like many of us Ghost Recon fans, I will always remember how I felt when the first Ghost Recon showed up. Spending hours ‎playing those stealth missions was a game changer!

Do you have any passions or hobbies outside video gaming?

I'm a self-confessed adrenaline junkie. I get it from video games like Ghost Recon, with a feeling of excitement even before playing the best missions of the franchise. I also get it doing extreme sports like kitesurfing, wake skating or freeride skiing. Pushing the envelope is my motto, be it at the office or out there.

What are your thoughts about the Ghost Recon community?

After having spent 10 years of my life interacting with the Ghost Recon community I know it's a group of people you can trust to discuss openly the important topics of game development. What I like about the Ghost Recon community is how passionate it is. You can have a real dialogue with those players. Maybe because it's an established community, maybe because the Ghost Recon games are about tactics in many forms… or maybe because our fans just rock!

Keep up the great work!

Huge thanks to Nouredine Abboud for taking the time to answer these questions, we hope you enjoyed it!

Let us know what you think about the video on our official forums and subreddit. Also, make sure to keep your eyes on GhostRecon.com for upcoming announcements and news!

For more intel about Nouredine’s vision of the game, check out our Developer Q&A video

The Ghost Recon dev team


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