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Guillemot: Wii U owners don't buy "mature" games

Ubisoft will stick to Just Dance in future as boss shows interest in EA's Access

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has given a controversial diagnosis on the Wii U, saying that it's not a platform for mature games.

Speaking to GameInformer, Guillemot revealed that Watch_Dogs would be Ubisoft's last attempt to market mature games on the console, having seen mega-franchise Assassin's Creed struggle on Nintendo's platform.

"It's very simple, what we see is that Nintendo customers don't buy Assassin's Creed," said Guillemot. "Last year, we sold in very small numbers.

"What we see is that they are very interested in Just Dance, very interested by other kinds of games," Guillemot says. "So what we are trying to do is to focus more on the types of games they are interested in. [Watch Dogs] is coming to Wii U. It will be the only mature game we publish on it."

Guillemot also commented on the difficulty of creating platform exclusives - something it has done for Nintendo with regularity in the past.

"For Ubisoft, it's more complex to do that kind of thing, especially on big franchises," he explained. "You have to make sure your fans can access the games they really want to play. Sometimes they can't afford to buy different consoles, so [exclusivity] needs to be considered carefully."

Whilst exclusives may be on the wane, the CEO does see capital in the recent move by EA to establish a subscription service which grants access to older games and exclusive content, despite Sony's rejection of it.

"I think it makes the publisher more important in the player's mind. Often, people are only interested in one brand from a publisher, so they don't look for other brands. When you buy into something like Access, you can try other things for free and discover other things you like. It's a way to make sure gamers can get more info on what we do and the diversity of our portfolio.

"When you look on your console, you have many channels and you want that diversity. Instead of saying everything's in one place, we can say 'Okay, try these channels: EA, Ubi, Activision.'"

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Latest comments (22)

Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee7 years ago
I don't see how the Watch Dogs delay has helped seeing as all hype has gone.
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Ruben Monteiro Engineer 7 years ago
What's controversial about stating the obvious? The thing has been marketed as kids' toy like it's predecessor. Only thing mature on the Wii is probably old ladies playing fitness stuff.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.7 years ago
Nintendo console owners tend to be incredibly wary of 3rd party publishers efforts on Nintendo consoles. They are often delayed, missing features, barely marketed, etc....

Why would they trust major 3rd parties when you've never maintained quality support before?
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Show all comments (22)
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 7 years ago
I get it, what was formerly known as a teenage power fantasy, can now be sold to people as old as 60. Still does not make them any more mature.
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Doug McFarlane Co-Owner, KodeSource7 years ago
Ubisoft - somebody understands!
Now, Nintendo, accept your fate and your place amongst the consoles.
Ease up indie requirements to publish on your platform (not to the extent of mobile perhaps), but still sell in the $5 range.
Then watch your console sales skyrocket as the indies make your system fun and in demand with oodles of games available.
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Jed Ashforth Senior Game Designer, Immersive Technology Group, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe7 years ago
Agree with Jim.

Also - 3rd party 'mature' titles like Mass Effect, Injustice, Arkham, Assassins Creed were all supported by DLC that wasn't confirmed (and in many cases never turned up) on WiiU, but promised it on other platforms. Whether I wanted the DLC or not, it's hard not to pick the version that gives you the option.
Also, if a game has online multiplayer, many customers will be likely buy for a platform their mates play online with. Which probably isn't WiiU.
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Francisco Javier QA Engineering & Coordination, Saber Interactive Spain7 years ago
Guillemot: Wii U owners don't buy "BORING" games

Fixed. WiiU owners are more of having fun, not wooing with the greatness of your game engine.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 7 years ago
Oh... brother. He SHOULD have said "Not enough customers buy Mature games on the Wii U", which would have been smarter and more fact-based. I own a few M-rated games on the console and plan to buy a few more. That said, at the end of the day "Mature" is only a rating and not a barometer of quality. I bet that Zelda Musou game does well enough to surprise people, as does some of the other fun stuff FINALLY popping up on the console that's not carrying a "Mature" rating. Of course, I have not a clue how Watch Dogs will do because it's already set up to be unfairly compared to the other versions and some will say it's too late for the game (even though those out of the loop Wii U-ONLY owners who haven't seen the other versions will want it because there's nothing else like it on the system...

Eh, we'll see... we'll see...
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Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes7 years ago
Nintendo a kids machine? Whoulda guessed?!?!? More news at 11. . . .mature people do own Nintendo hardware, but they own it for Nintendo software, period. Pretty much always been the way.
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Tami Quiring Editor, Village Gamer News7 years ago
I am a mature female gamer. I own a Wii U, and I buy mature games - if they are fun, if they are available. I own Assassin's Creed for Wii U...and for Xbox 360. I've had Watch Dogs for Wii U on pre-order since it was announced. I did not order it for the 360 or PC, because I *hope* that Watch Dogs will fully utilize the possibilities available via the game pad. I would love to see games like Fallout on the Wii U. I play games for the fun, the story and the treasures to collect, along with the solving of puzzles, powering up and completing quests. I do not play for the multi-player. I am an anti-social gamer, and the more games force me to partake in multi-player to advance my character, the fewer games I play. Knock the Wii U all you want, but I've never ever had to reboot it or lost game progress because it froze. I have no interest in PlayStation Move or Kinect. My gaming time is limited. I want to sit down, enjoy some game time, get lost in a story and an interesting environment, make some progress in a game, and put it away until next time. I have not bought the Xbox One or the PS4. Ubisoft is not making the new Rainbow Six title for the Xbox 360 or the Wii U. As more and more developers scoff at the Wii U, there will be less and less of their titles I purchase. I am not going to spend hundreds of dollars on consoles that care more about adding "entertainment management" apps than about just playing a game, which is really all I want my console to do.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tami Quiring on 19th August 2014 6:37pm

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matthew bennion Web Development 7 years ago
And they don't buy sloppy games that lack any posh or quality like a lot of Ubisoft games!
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Christopher Ashton Carlos Software Programmer 7 years ago
I do believe this, but I also believe some of the reasons Nintendo games don't bother to buy these 3rd party games is because often times they don't feel as complete. Black Ops II, a game I own, gets the Nuketown DLC 2 years later, still no other DLC stuff was mentioned. The latest Arkham game didn't have Multiplayer mode that was in the console versions, and DLC was soon stopped. I can't blame them all, I'm sure some part has to do with the consumer base and maybe even some part of Nintendo. Do Wii U owners buy DLC? Do they buy a bunch of content on eShop, and how much of that is original stuff versus Virtual Console content? I have downloaded some games like Guacamelee, Trine 2, and other original games on the eShop, more than I do Virtual Console games. I even buy third party games, if they support off-TV play, because to me it's been something I use a lot; it's just convenient.

Throwing more support at a system with little returns is hard I'm sure, but I think the consumers are also speaking that they don't want to feel like second fiddle too. Don't remove the multiplayer online component, don't remove DLC support, don't ship titles later on Wii U (aka Watch Dogs and Rayman Legends) and expect them to suddenly fill the gap. Want to know why most Wii U owners also buy Nintendo games and those exclusive titles made for the system? They usually end up offering a complete package. Watch Dogs, if it is still coming to Wii U, will have to face Super Smash Bros. sales, and well it's not going to win. Hyrule Warriors even comes out soon, and that title is likely going to sell more, because I think Wii U owners are just tired of feeling second place.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 7 years ago
See, that's exactly it. ZELDA wil do will. Launch another Dynasty Warriors game, and watch for sales in the basement. No one would buy Smash Brothers if it didn't have the cast in it. Sony tried to ape it, and their game was of similar mediocre quality, but they didn't have the fervent fandom that makes it sell.

It's not that they're all bad games, it's that any titles on many platforms sell based on the property attached, and Nintendo fans are nothing but extremely brand loyal.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 7 years ago
Wii U owners don't buy "mature" games
Very true and unsurprising. This is why I question future releases Devil's Third and Bayonetta 2 as Wii U exclusives. Yes I know that Nintendo is publishing both but I would honestly be a bit surprised if either managed to get to 2 million copies sold worldwide and I think even thats being overly generous.
[Watch Dogs] is coming to Wii U. It will be the only mature game we publish on it."
So in other words, all you Wii U owners need to buy Watchdogs when it comes out or be stuck with Just Dance 5 thru 25 and assorted all ages shovelware for the remainder of the Wii U 's life span.
Often, people are only interested in one brand from a publisher, so they don't look for other brands. When you buy into something like Access, you can try other things for free and discover other things you like.
I'm glad they are considering this too, specifically for the reason highlighted. There are a good number of franchises that are the only things I am interested in for certain publishers so being able to get those games for a cheap monthly or yearly fee would save me a bunch of money. And of course Microsoft would allow me the option of refusing to pay for the subscriptions I'm not interested in, which is something you can't say about Sony.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 20th August 2014 1:35am

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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 7 years ago

The biggest problem with anything to do with the internet, is that like many other Japanese companies, Nintendo was dragged kicking and screaming into it, and they still view it as a shopping mall for the most part.

Nintendo hired a bunch of engineers, who did not use Xbox. Live or PSN before building them an online network for the WiiU. When I was a kid, I visited the. Microsoft campus in 1995, and in a back room there were two guys with every game and system known to man, who were getting paid 50k a year to play games, and write up reports. Something that is common practice.

When DLC is offered for third party games, Nintendo fans do not buy it. When online is offered, they do not play it in the numbers that justifies millions of dollars in investments to make it happen. The root cause is twofold I think.

1- WiiU owners have another console, where they have spent over a decade creating online friends and relationships. Why would you buy Call of Duty on WiiU away from your friends?

2- Sony had the issue last generation, but has managed to recover. If Microsoft did one thing right, it was using free DLC on the original Xbox to condition people to the entire concept, so that by the time 360 rolled around, people were primed. Those who only buy Nintendo content are simply not in this mindset of community driving DLC, because there is really no community. So when there is any other option, people default to that community, exacerbating the existing problem

And I firmly believe it's way way too late for them to change that. Their infrastructure is antiquated and incompatible with the kinds of games and services moving forward. They'd have to spend millions and millions creating the infrastructure Microsoft definately has, and Sony at least has enough of to supplement affordably.

So based on sales, and the fact that with 360 on the way out that porting to the WiiU is about to double or triple in cost, requiring a dedicated version, why would they invest in a console on track to be the worst selling in Nintendo history? It's not like this is the first, or even second time third parties jumped ship because their games weren't selling, but I have a feeling it's probably the last time, that the WiiU2 will be once again paying for their ports, and that EA's exit from the platform in record time will be the rule rather than the exception.
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange7 years ago
So far, most of these so called "Matured" games by Ubisoft are either delayed or lacking in features.Nintendo owners know when they're being short-changed or being treated like a 2nd class gamer. Bayonetta 2 will prove you wrong.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 7 years ago
Christian, I'm talking about the stuff the end user never sees. Games like Destiny, the Division or The Crew are simply not going to happen on WiiU, not because the hardware isn't capable, but because the network isn't. That's why I compared it to the NXE era of Xbox Live.

Developers can write their own servers, but they will never see a return on that investment, or anything close to it.

As far as community goes, that's psychological as much as technological. People have put down rootstock, and Mario Kart isn't going to get them to move, just maybe take a vacation
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Stephan Schwabe Multichannelmanagement, Telefonica7 years ago
For me as a nintendo customer for years now i can only dissagree with Mr.Guillemot. I buy M ratet games if thy are good. And im sorry to say that but the m ratet Ubisoft games are just medicor with the exception of Rayman. Nintendo's problem is that thy have a very high standart with ther ip's and thy are rarely failing it. The last game of Nintendo that dissapointent me was Star Fox Assault on Game Cube.

From my point of view publishers give up early to compete with Nintendo. Nintendo is so intimidating with AAA games that if your game is just ok Nintendo consumers wont buy it..

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Stephan Schwabe on 20th August 2014 2:23pm

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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 7 years ago
None of those are new, or hard to implement on their own private server.

This has nothing to do with the net code in the games. Dragon Quest is based on Squares existing net code and severs from FF11/14.

I specifically cited Crew and Division because they're Ubisoft. Every online game uses "custom network features", nine of what those games are doing is new or complex, especially for a game that's Japan-only. The stuff they're doing with those games ismlightyears beyond in terms of complexity., and it's all with the server side stuff on fast paced action titles. This isn't a WOW clone like DQ.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 7 years ago
Wii-U is great for Indie Devs.

Not having to pay for a Unity Fee on consoles, no price to submit your games for certification, complete control over pricing, free patching, no requirement anymore to have an office address. No cost to register yourself as a Nintendo developer.

Wii-U has radically changed its entire philosophy to indies to being the premiere indie console for development

Over 250 indie games coming out on Wii-U. It's a deluge.

Shame about the UI for the eShop though.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 21st August 2014 3:37am

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic Keyboard Basher, Avasopht Development7 years ago
Wow, I had absolutely no idea the Wii-U had all the costs removed. So it's just the cost of the Dev-Kit now?
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.7 years ago
And even the dev kit cost has programs to help reduce or eliminate it.
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