author: Jacob Blazewicz
Ubisoft Games Will Focus on Innovation and Quality Rather Than Quantity
Ubisoft is changing its approach to game development. The new titles are supposed to be „focused” and „innovative” to make every hour spent with them meaningful to the player.
Source: Ubisoft official website.
Innovation and focus, not scope - that's Ubisoft's doctrine for the next few years. At least that's what Fawzi Mesmar - formerly a designer at EA's DICE studio, currently deputy director of Ubisoft's Feature Department - suggests.
Games for everyone are for no one
The developer already mentioned this during the recent presentation to the press and elaborated on the idea in an interview with IGN. Ubisoft no longer wants to create games trying to do "everything" at once, but will try to focus on specific elements of the project.
The publisher realizes that, as a result, individual titles will no longer be "for everyone." Nevertheless, as Mesmar stated, the company doesn't mind this and prefers to please people interested in a particular concept rather than try to appeal to everyone.
"We want to be okay with making a decision around the one game and go, ‘We're going to go for that, and we're going to commit, and we're going to be okay [that it - ed. note] can make those kind of people happy, but maybe not everybody.’ And that's okay. We believe that a more focused game is better for the people that like [that - ed. note] kind of game.”
Less, but better
Mesmar referred to a related feature of Ubisoft's games for which they have often been criticized: excessive scope. In the future, the publisher wants to make sure that "every hour" spent in its games will be time well spent for players. Titles are to focus on the "depth of experience" rather than its "volume."
Along with this goes emphasis on "innovation," which is to be evident in all future Ubisoft projects. This could manifest itself through new gameplay mechanics, an unusual approach to the genre or a unique art style.
"[We have - ed. note] innovation as a key pillar for all of our games coming forward, [which] could be anything from a quirky new art style to a relatively new take on a genre to even new gameplay mechanics,” he said. “So every Ubisoft project will be looking at those aspects and trying to differentiate, provide depth, and provide the higher standards of quality, as well as providing new ways for players to be able to connect, interact and express themselves.”
Assassin's Creed in many shapes
Such declarations by publishers and developers must always be treated as non-committal promises or, more often, purely marketing ploys. Nonetheless, Ubisoft's alleged new approach was already noticeable on the occasion of the publisher's recent presentation. The French devs announced quite a few new installments of Assassin's Creed series, with each seeming to be a slightly different project.
Codename Red will be based on the formula of modern installments and will be an open-world RPG, but Mirage is expected to be shorter than its predecessors and a return to the series' stealth roots, without looking back on AC: Valhalla. Very little is known about Codename Hexe, but mentions about the smaller scale and "different feel in terms of gameplay and gameplay structure" indicate that this game, too, will not be a carbon copy of its predecessors.
It is also worth recalling rumors about the "sequel" to Immortals: Fenyx Rising. The second part of Ubisoft's mythological game is expected to be smaller, basically being a spin-off rather than a true sequel. In addition, the visual layer will change to be more unique than the first installment.
This would fit in with Ubisoft's new strategy. Let's note at the same time that these rumors appeared back in July - almost two months before the Ubisoft Forward show and the publisher's official declarations of a change in game development strategy.
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