It's difficult to quantify the buzz surrounding the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launches, but Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot offered some slight illumination on the matter in an investor conference call today. Guillemot said retailers he's talked to have been very positive about the preorder situation.
"Some retailers--not all of them--are saying their preorders are two times what they saw for the last-gen launch," Guillemot said.
The executive also spelled out Ubisoft's strategy for the next generation, saying, "Open worlds are the clear direction where game genres are evolving."
Guillemot said the open-world twist has been redefining genre after genre for years, starting with Grand Theft Auto and action games. He said The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim did it for role-playing games, while Ubisoft's own Assassin's Creed series and Far Cry 3 brought open-world approaches to the adventure and first-person shooter genres. Looking forward, Guillemot said Ubisoft's The Crew will do the same for driving games.
In the past seven years, Ubisoft has made nine open-world games, "by far an unmatched performance," according to Guillemot. That output has been aided by the publisher's production capabilities, splitting up games between huge teams situated in studios around the world. Guillemot said the publisher's experience with open worlds and globally distributed development will be a major differentiator for the company in the new console cycle, giving it "a unique capacity in the industry" to release open-world games on a regular basis.