Ubisoft released one of the best games of 2015, in my opinion.
I’ve picked Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope to be a surprise smash because it’s a fantastic strategy game. Since its predecessor had already surpassed 10 million players, since it was the Mario game of Christmas, and since Pokémon wasn’t even scheduled to be released until a month later, it had no real competition.
It didn’t really use that strategy. Although it would be unfair to label the game a failure, Ubisoft’s expectations were clearly not met. Unfortunately for the publisher, Just Dance 2023 also failed to meet its financial goals for the holiday season.
Ubisoft saw a trend, likely influenced by the current economic climate, of players favouring the larger brand names. And there’s certainly evidence to back up that analysis when you consider the record-breaking efficiency of games like God of War, Pokémon, Zelda, and Hogwarts Legacy.
GamesIndustry.biz’s Yves Guillemot recently said, “The market is suffering a bit with the inflation circumstance,” during the company’s Forward event.
It’s embarrassing that the industry isn’t working harder to coordinate the unveiling of their video games.
All households are under increased pressure to become more conscientious. We saw a first-party partner around lunchtime, and they confirmed that they have also noticed a decline in consumer spending as a result of the current economic climate.
Although, I do think Mario had a few issues. Since we had already released a Mario Rabbids game [on Switch], we were able to take advantage of having two games with similar mechanics on the same console. Such games are eternal on Nintendo systems. Switch is home to 25 Mario video games. Nintendo [has suggested] sticking to a single release for all platforms. We arrived a little too soon; they were probably waiting for [the next console].
(I’m glad they didn’t, for one thing.)
Because you could be missing out on a great video game. And because we plan to update it for the next-generation hardware, we expect it to last for at least ten years.
Ubisoft is focusing more on the major franchises, but there are still many exciting new releases on the horizon. On that score, you need have no apprehension.
According to Guillemot, “we approached this as… how can we please Assassin’s Creed fans.” What is it that they want to enjoy? We often ask them for feedback on the games, and some have even asked us to revert to the [previous] approach.This is not like the other three Assassin’s Creed games.
The effort is still being made with enthusiasm. Ubisoft’s teams have truly attempted, for Mirage, to recreate Baghdad from the ninth century, of which almost little survives today.
“Here you have Baghdad as it was at that time, it’s simply fantastic to find that,” says Guillemot. The ability to visit that location and learn about that civilization and how inventive those people were is something that I think will appeal to a lot of gamers. At the time, it was the epicentre of the global financial system.
Ubisoft created the Assassin’s Creed IP, while the company’s other two recent blockbuster titles were licenced IPs. Guillemot tells us that taking on Star Wars and Avatar wasn’t so much a business decision as it was an artistic one.
“It was our groups that wanted to check out those universes and develop something unique, which is why we relocated that directions,” he tells us. There are a lot of Star Wars aficionados at Ubisoft, and they wanted to see whether they could incorporate the Ubisoft open world into the Star Wars universe. For many of the programmers, it was the Holy Grail. We agreed to carry it through and said so. It’s great to see everyone in the group so enthusiastic.
“People went to [the creator of Avatar and Star Wars]. Massive, they moved across the country or ran long-distance operations to be a part of it.
We’re going to make AAA mobile games, and we’re also going to work with other companies.
The Crew Motorfest, the third installment in Ubisoft’s racing series, was the fourth video game mentioned by Guillemot. It’s not a show that receives a lot of attention, but it has a devoted following and has kept people entertained regularly.
Since it was fresh yet lacked some of The Crew’s performance, Guillemot says, “when The Crew 2 was presented, it didn’t get all the attention it might have had.” People thought it was great in places, but missing whatever it was. With Motorfest, we’re showcasing everything from The Crew 2 that didn’t get cut, plus a lot more improvements. That will help people understand what the brand stands for.
Even though several of Ubisoft’s major titles were showcased, others were noticeably absent. A passing nod (and a melody) was given to the repeatedly delayed MMO Skull & Bones, which is currently in closed beta testing in the month of August. It’s been six years since we last saw Beyond Good and Evil 2. The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time remake was scrapped and started over.
Companies of all sizes encounter problems with innovation, not just Ubisoft. As a matter of fact, the COVID-19 lockdowns have wreaked havoc on development schedules everywhere. Ubisoft has also been embroiled in serious workplace misconduct incidents, which have disrupted operations at several of the company’s larger studios.
According to Guillemot, the issues these games have tackled are indicative of the wider systemic challenges of making AAA games in the modern day.
He says, “It’s simply difficult to create brand-new brand names.” When compared to Rainbow Six Siege, Assassin’s Creed took about the same amount of time to develop. The length of time spent in the Division was seven years. Creating video games that are vastly different from the norm requires experimentation and time. The greater the complexity, the longer it will take to implement. For this reason”
Ubisoft’s challenge is to build a sustainable business that doesn’t rely on releasing one or two blockbuster games year. It wasn’t just that Mario + Rabbids and Just Dance failed to meet expectations; the company’s dependence on such games was the real problem with its most recent financial results.
Major service-based video games ultimately drive efficiencies for Ubisoft’s competitors, Electronic Arts, Take-Two, and Activision. Ubisoft’s live-service and mobile games aren’t quite on par with the competition, and the company lacks the resources (and the will) to just buy a Zynga or a King.
This is why Ubisoft is so quick to adopt cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality (VR) and blockchain technology. It is not in its character to spend money to buy its way into these places should they disappear, therefore it is smart to get in on the ground floor.
Guillemot believes Ubisoft can get where it needs to be since it has the brands and the partners (including major investor Tencent).
The other publishers buy a company, you know. Guillemot says, “We try to develop things.” However, Activision was able to work with a Chinese publisher to bring Diablo and Call of Duty to mobile devices, so we have attempted to follow suit. We plan to create our own AAA mobile games and work with other publishers using some of our established franchises. It requires some time, especially when venturing into uncharted territory such as the free-to-play market.
When asked about the game’s financial success, he said, “If you look at our last Assassin’s Creed… it did more than $1 billion in income.” We’re expanding our potential customer base by including the popular mobile version of Rainbow Six, which is also doing well. We’re expanding our name recognition. We want to make sure that our plans for these games grow in scale while also allowing us to experiment with new ideas.Add to favorites