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Ubisoft hopes for shorter console cycles

Publisher's CEO says seven-year cycle hurt the industry, stifled creative risks

The gaming industry went seven years from the launch of the Xbox 360 to the debut of the Wii U. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot doesn't want to wait another seven years for the next generation of hardware.

Speaking with Polygon about future console cycles, Guillemot said, "I hope next time they will come more often." The executive was following up on comments he made suggesting that the console cycle that began in 2005 with the Xbox 360 lasted too long.

"We need new consoles and at the end of the cycle generally the market goes down because there are less new IPs, new properties, so that damaged the industry a little bit," Guillemot said.

Early on in a console's life cycle is the ideal time for companies to "reinvent" themselves with riskier and more innovative titles, according to Guillemot. On the other hand, he said publishers get more conservative with things like new intellectual properties later in console life cycles because "even if they are good, they don't sell as well."

Ubisoft committed six games to the launch of the Wii U, including Assassin's Creed III, Rabbids Land, and the original property ZombiU. It has two more scheduled for the system's "launch window" (through March 2013): Rayman Legends and Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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