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"E3 is only for the US now," says Ubisoft boss

Tue 22 May 2007 7:53pm GMT / 3:53pm EDT / 12:53pm PDT

Yves Guillemot kicked off the two-day Ubidays event in Paris tonight by telling the audience it is Ubisoft's answer to E3 - which the publisher now considers to be "only for the US".

Yves Guillemot kicked off the two-day Ubidays event in Paris tonight by telling the audience it is Ubisoft's answer to E3 - which the publisher now considers to be "only for the US".

Around 600 industry professionals have travelled from around Europe to attend Ubidays, which began with a two-hour conference and a short Q&A session with Guillemot.

"E3 is now only for the US, so we wanted to do something to help everybody see our products," he said. "So we decided to do E3 but in France and call it Ubidays."

As Guillemot explained, Ubidays will showcase the publisher's current software line-up and reveal more of the newly-announced casual games division.

"We have sold more than 5 million units of games in the Petz line and casual games on DS and Wii. So the casual series exists already, but we plan to do a lot more," Guillemot said.

"The Nintendo DS and the Wii really brought new customers to our industry - they worked very hard on the accessibility. Now everyone can play games, and they want to play games."

According to Guillemot, Ubisoft's casual games line-up will be aimed at a variety of demographics. Games based around cooking and fashion design will be targeted at young girls. Titles for older gamers will include My Word Coach, designed to improve language skills, and My Life Coach, which will offer advice on topics such as weight loss "to help you live longer and in good health".

"It's a very diversified portfolio" with "all sorts of new products", offered Guillemot.

However, Ubidays will also showcase the publisher's non-casual brands, such as Assassin's Creed, Haze, Brothers in Arms, Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon. Other forthcoming titles include anime game Naruto, movie tie-in Surf's Up and a game based on hit TV show Lost. "There's also a new movie licence, but that's to be announced," added Guillemot.

"We believe we need to collaborate a lot with the guys creating movies because those guys are just excellent. They have great knowhow we need to take advantage of, good techniques we can use in our games... They can come to our movie studio and express ideas, it's a great way to work with them."

Guillemot ended the Q&A session with a brief comment on the current state of the games industry, observing, "Now the Wii, the PS3 and the 360 are on the market, it's going to be growing very fast. We expect 50 per cent growth in the next few years, 13 to 15 per cent this year.

"Those machines are selling very fast, and we think with the Wii, the DS, the PS3 and 360, we will have new games that help more customers come to the market," he concluded.

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