Ubisoft and Other Companies Have Come a Long Way with the Same Ideas
Open world mechanics; we know them, we love them, and they were the same in every Ubisoft game at one point. That said, the company and the genre have come a long way. They’ve come a long way because the IPs they craft aren’t mimicking those before them. And despite the number of open world games in their portfolio, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot admitted that the mechanics were not refined until recently.
In an interview with EDGE Magazine (Issue #311), Guillemot responded to this year’s critically acclaimed titles. Titles that borrowed mechanics from Ubisoft games like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed managed to execute them better and in a way that made them seem very different.
“It’s interesting, because The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild took a lot of things that existed in Far Cry and other Ubisoft games, but did them perfectly,” Guillemot said. “I think the most important thing is not the systems as they are, it’s how they can be perfected; how they can give the player the best experience possible.
“The same system can be in two games, and not be seen as the same thing. The job, really, is to make sure that you have a certain number of possibilities and that you are able to combine them in such a way that provides a great experience. When systems are similar, it’s because developers have not been able to take full advantage of what those systems could bring.
“When a system is really good at providing fun, the team knows that that will work – and at the end of the day what counts is the experience. But we are taking more and more time on our games so that they are very different from one another. That has always been the objective. But if you look at many of the games that are being launched – even the last Sony game, Horizon: Zero Dawn – again, they took some of the same systems that we have. Because, in the industry, we always look at other games and other publishers. A game is very complex, so it helps us to provide a good experience.”
Additionally, Ubisoft’s CEO commented on the company’s change of direction in creating more multiplayer-focused titles. With the industry’s new focus on multiplayer, so too did the company adapt.
“It’s the kind of game that is more and more in demand from players. As a company, we have to adapt to this evolution in demand. So it’s a question of generation: some people have been playing linear adventures, and they tend to want to continue to play that kind of game, even if they’re starting to open to other types of games.
“For each revolution or disruption, there are steps where you are in the middle and the new thing is not yet very interesting. The first people that try the game might say ‘It’s good, but it’s not as good as I expected’ and sometimes they don’t want to try it again.
“But after a while you improve the quality of this new experience, and you arrive at a level where the new people who try it love it. It always takes time to change mentalities. For us, we had no choice but to introduce the types of product that most of the customers, most of the players, wanted.”
Obviously, many of the mechanics that incepted in Ubisoft games are now present within other franchises. But, do you agree with Yves Guillemot’s assessment?
Despite their new focus on multiplayer, Ubisoft is still cranking out highly-anticipated single-player games. We have Far Cry 5 (February 2018), Assassin’s Creed: Origins (October 27, 2018), and South Park: The Fractured But Whole (October 17, 2017) to look forward to. Hence, you can also look forward to many related updates. Until then and beyond,