Close
Report Comment to a Moderator Our Moderators review all comments for abusive and offensive language, and ensure comments are from Verified Users only.
Please report a comment only if you feel it requires our urgent attention.
I understand, report it. Cancel

Ubisoft: "We've been penalised by the lack of new consoles"

Ubisoft: "We've been penalised by the lack of new consoles"

Mon 23 Jul 2012 8:24am GMT / 4:24am EDT / 1:24am PDT
HardwarePublishing

CEO Yves Guillemot on the need for new tech

Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot has argued the industry needs the next-generation of consoles to get a move on for the sake of creativity and new IP.

"We have been penalised by the lack of new consoles on the market," the CEO told Gamasutra.

"I understand the manufacturers don't want them too often because it's expensive, but it's important for the entire industry to have new consoles because it helps creativity."

In the past Guillemot has explained that it is always keen to support new tech at an early stage, in order to test the market and get to the "trendsetters."

Here he added to that, saying the a new generation was the time for developers and publishers to try out new IPs.

"It's a lot less risky for us to create new IPs and new products when we're in the beginning of a new generation," he continued.

"Our customers are very open to new things. Our customers are reopening their minds -- and they are really going after what's best. ... At the end of a console generation, they want new stuff, but they don't buy new stuff as much. They know their friends will play Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed so they go for that. So the end of a cycle is very difficult."

He also praised Nintendo's latest machine, the Wii U, which Ubisoft is developing the exclusive ZombiU title for.

"I think they've created something good, if the customer uses everything they have created, I think we can see a good success with that machine. That type of collaboration can be fun and also challenging at the same time. It's something has never been done before. ... Those guys are taking lots of risks with the games they create -- and they're extremely successful."

18 Comments

Andrew Animator

148 158 1.1
I really can't understand the notion that new tech is a pre-requisite for creativity. Some of the most innovative and creative games are often the least graphically and cpu intensive.

To me, using the lack of a new generation of consoles as a reason for not being able to be creative sounds much more like an excuse for not being able to come up with a great but simple idea.

This statement seems especially odd to me coming from Ubisoft, given they developed From Dust, (Granted, not an entirely original idea), which was an exceptionally well designed game on the current generation.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Andrew on 23rd July 2012 1:18pm

Posted:2 years ago

#1
Maybe the Ubi strategy is to release a wealth of new IP with new consoles

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters

527 786 1.5
I think he's talking about the excitement and enthusiasm around a new generation launch that rubs off on customer's willingness to give new IP a chance, compared to the general fatigue of the current generation. Consumer enthusiasm as a whole needs energising, in the way no single game can achieve, but a new platform may.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

James Prendergast Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
Like I pointed out in the other thread about these comments if you look at the PC, creativity isn't predicated upon the release of new tech and yet the sales numbers for those newer IPs don't reduce because there's no such thing as a "hardware cycle" on the PC. It's just a mindless soundbite that makes little sense... not to mention the disconnect beteween "the manufacturers don't want them too often because it's expensive" and somehow developers wanting to absorb new high development costs due to infrastructure/API/control changes....

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer

576 320 0.6
Nah... You've been penalized by the focus on tech over design. You don't need new consoles for design.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer

576 320 0.6
@Dave: What an arrogant assumption.

Spoken like a true programmer.

I guess also no new movie can generate buzz unless it is being treated as a vehicle for a new video format.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Sean Lane Artist/Animator, Sneaky Games

15 7 0.5
Ubisoft has got a lot major issues including and not limited to poor customer support, lack of product testing, terrible ports, multiple worldwide branches just clamoring to put out a flood of mediocre games, draconian DRM, and abandoning support almost the month a product is released.

If you've ever reported a bug or game problem to Ubisoft you might has well have not, as you'll always get the canned response that you should check IGN for guides. I must have read that dozens of times over the last decade.

There are some Ubisoft games I love to death, but as a whole the company is a disgusting ineffectual behemoth of mismanagement. The lack of new consoles should be the very least of their problems.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange

237 180 0.8
When you've been working on the same thing for too long, it can get mundane and games tend to become stale. A new console brings inspiration, it is a breath of fresh air and a chance to start anew and make something truly fresh without the cluttered sensation.

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Andrew Animator

148 158 1.1
When you've been working on the same thing for too long, it can get mundane and games tend to become stale. A new console brings inspiration, it is a breath of fresh air and a chance to start anew and make something truly fresh without the cluttered sensation.
That has nothing to do with the consoles you work on though. The interest you have is drawn from the project you work on, that could be a simple but artistic side scroller (Limbo), to a graphically interesting 3D sandbox (Minecraft) to a juggernaught of a 3D shooter (Call of Duty). It has nothing to do with the console (or PC).

It's akin to suggesting that an artist draws his inspiration from the type of pencil he uses

My enthusiasm has always been drawn from what I work on, not the piece of plastic sitting on my desk.

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Andrew on 23rd July 2012 8:48pm

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange

237 180 0.8
@ Alex O'Dwyer

"My enthusiasm has always been drawn from what I work on, not the piece of plastic sitting on my desk."

I'm not justifying Yves' statement, just giving an insight on a possible reasoning behind his wording with "it helps creativity".

I'm not talking about enthusiasm but inspiration, I don't think they're synonymous. Different people draw inspiration from different things or stimulus, it may be intangible or tangible.

When an artist draws inspiration from objects, these are not mere things that are generic in nature, they often are special. Consoles are not just a piece of plastic each has a special feature that makes them unique and it's true with the Wii U. There won't be Zombie U this year if it wasn't for the console's one of a kind GamePad.

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Ah, the eternal coin-flip. I'd say that these days, new consoles don't help creativity more than they drive sales because they're new and considered by consumers who fall into the specs trap as "better" (even when we end up with pretty much the same game experiences). Granted, more powerful hardware means the best developers can make games that feature more interactive elements, but that takes time (which means I'd expect to see a raft of launch titles across the board that don't do anything new other than offer nicer-looking visuals).

I've been finding myself having more fun with the wide selection of games on RPGMaker.net than with some current console and PC titles, but I'm kind of crazy. Anyway, this is a double-edged sword, as sure, a new console WILL sell like hotcakes among early adopters and those who think "next-gen" automatically means "better games" when they're ogling screen shots and videos online or on some game-related TV show.

That said, I think Wii U games have a temporary advantage thanks to them being made with the new controller in mind (as opposed to adding in touch screen content later). However, if the ideas for that controller start getting repeated (or dry up), it'll be seen as less of an advantage/benefit to those who want to slam Nintendo for not making their console more of a visual powerhouse (or whatever other complaints will come out over time)...

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Craig Page Programmer

384 220 0.6
Ubisoft's problem is they just shovel out the games and hope they get a hit, which I guess pays their bills, and produces a good game or two every year. But I've never played anything made by them that I thought was truly great.

Rocksmith came close to greatness, but it feels like their deadline came two months before it was really finished, so they shipped it anyway. Just little things like a bad menu system, displaying notes so it's not totally obvious where they are, and throwing really difficult things at the player when they still should be on easy mode. Guitar Hero and Rockband never had those problems.

Posted:2 years ago

#12

Andrew Animator

148 158 1.1
I'm not talking about enthusiasm but inspiration, I don't think they're synonymous. Different people draw inspiration from different things or stimulus, it may be intangible or tangible
Perhaps, but I still maintain that creativity, inspiration, enthusiasm have little to do with the console. My perception is the console is a tool, ultimately what you choose to use that tool for comes down to your own imagination and ingenuity. I can think of any number of 20 year old games which demonstrate much more ingenuity than many games released on the current generation.

The games which have demonstrated great creativity to me in recent times are things like Limbo, From Dust, Braid, Minecraft, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Little Big Planet. Forget about graphics for a second and I think you will agree that most of those games could all have been done 10 years ago. I really don't think the console was particularly responsible for the creative ideas in those games.

I will admit that a new console with an innovative controller (ie the Wii U) may open fresh ideas and opportunities to do something different. If we consider the current generations efforts with motion control it has been a mixed bag, and lets be honest, how much creativity and innovation has it brought to the table?

The main issue I have with the statement though, is that it implies that if this generation of consoles was the last one we have, we would see little to no creativity or fresh IP. Does anyone really agree with that?

Edited 9 times. Last edit by Andrew on 23rd July 2012 8:52pm

Posted:2 years ago

#13

Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters

527 786 1.5
@Tim - I was trying to clarify what Yves appeared to be getting at, not necessarily saying he's right, although I partly agree. As in how everyone seems to think he's implying that you can't be creative on old hardware, whereas I don't think he was talking about technical limitations. And no, there's no arrogance in what I said, I didn't have the game's quality in mind, I was talking about the marketing spend to grab people's interest. Around the time that a console launches, everyone's talking about it, games are well and truly in the spotlight and a lot of awareness about your game comes for free because people are actively looking for information about it rather than you having to try and force it on people at the end of a cycle.

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Curt Sampson Sofware Developer

596 360 0.6
Alex, sure Dave's stuff comes out as "spoken like a true programmer." He's talking about facts and the full situation, not just your feelings.

1. Though you may not be inspired by a new medium in which to work, some other creators are. There are artists out there who get inspired by a new pencil or brush. Heck, just the other day I was inspired by an upgrade at work that suddenly put eight CPU threads ("cores") at my disposal rather than two, and reworked some algorithms to work at lot faster based on that. In fact, my rework was just as useful for a single-core machine, but that's not where the inspiration came from.

The key point to take away above is not that there exist creators who are not inspired by new stuff, a statement with which I (and I'm sure Dave) agree with you, but that there also exist creators who are inspired by new stuff, even if you're not one of them. Do you disagree with that?

2. You appear to be taking Guillemot's statement as talking about what should be, rather than what is. Yes, it's true that you shouldn't need new hardware to sell new IP, and in fact you don't in the PC world. But in the console world, if you look at the sales figures rather than the way you wish the world would be, new consoles appear to help new IP sales dramatically.

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Andrew Animator

148 158 1.1
The key point to take away above is not that there exist creators who are not inspired by new stuff, a statement with which I (and I'm sure Dave) agree with you, but that there also exist creators who are inspired by new stuff, even if you're not one of them. Do you disagree with that?
I don't disagree with that, and granted, different people take inspiration from different places. However, to say you have been penalised for it..... fresh IP can be very successful at any stage, it might do better at the start of a console cycle sure.

All said, I would put money on Ubisoft releasing a title from an existing franchise at the start of the next console cycle rather than a fresh IP.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew on 24th July 2012 9:27am

Posted:2 years ago

#16

Hugo Dubs Interactive Designer

163 24 0.1
All said, I would put money on Ubisoft releasing a title from an existing franchise at the start of the next console cycle rather than a fresh IP.
ACIII is coming out on Actual platforms whereas Watch dogs is going to be released on next gen.
The only other franchise would be Splinter cell, but according the the GP show we had during last E3, I doesn't look like it will be on next gen.

Posted:2 years ago

#17
Simple Human nature ensures if they've been gaming from the same object or variations of it for years, we begin to perceive it differently those of us who are gamers and not children have grown to expect our games and consoles to grow over time, this hasnt happened, so perceptionally this has meant that new releases no matter how innovative will immediately be at a disadvantage and be seen as old, and lets face it the graphics on consoles is pretty darn old, pretending there not dated seems to be a full time occupation nowdays so why bother, and whilst gameplay is important if you layed out two games side by side in a store both with identical gameplay but one looks better than the other the one that didnt look better would get practically no sales, just bear that in mind.

And some people love shiny new graphics every bit as much as gameplay and console's have been letting them down for years by this point, with mobiles and consoles threatening to catch up with console graphics, and alienating the youngest generation to boot with it, along with many gamers, its obviously hurting sales, the figures are unanimous. So arguing against it is shooting yourself in the foot, the console market will survive this cycle, but if it does another 10 year life cycle, it may well not survive the next one, its not just hurting sales its hurting investor perception of the games industry and the games market as a whole, which is reducing the amount of money available for publishers to produce new games, which will reduce innovation as risks on new titles only grow more dire, leading to spiral of decline which can only end one way.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Alexander McConnell on 30th July 2012 6:54pm

Posted:2 years ago

#18

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now