Ubisoft Need to up Their Game
Ubisoft is one of the most prolific video game publishers in the industry. With over 30 years in the medium, the corporation has amassed an incredible number of franchises, many of which form the foundation of our gaming life.
So, what the hell has happened to the once-lauded company? Join me as I explore the problem with Ubisoft.
Gamers all know what to expect from a Ubisoft release: a ton of content, scattered across a massive environment. Whilst this premise has proven successful for many titles, the fact that pretty much every game that sports the company’s logo follows this formula has made players grow tired of the plethora of franchises under their belt. Let’s look at Far Cry for instance. Starting on a 4-year development cycle, Far Cry 3 perfected systems originating in previous releases and is considered the pinnacle of the series. Attempting to capitalize on its success, Ubisoft has released a staggering 6 additions to the franchise in 9 years! Each of which is almost a carbon copy of previous entries. Quoting the enigmatic Vaas from Far Cry 3, “Insanity is doing the exact… same f**king thing… over and over again expecting… shit to change”. If Ubisoft needs to listen to its antagonist and move away from its formulaic approach to video game design.
Losing its Identity
The scope of releases has slowly narrowed over the years. Ubisoft games used to be unique, feeling and looking different, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth now. Assassin’s Creed a stealth adventure has completely lost sight of its origins. No longer does the game focus on observing your surroundings and finding ways to complete your objective unnoticed. The latest iterations place action at the forefront, making it feel similar to the number of other open-world, action-RPG titles currently available. This is also apparent with other franchises. Ghost Recon has slowly morphed from a tough-as-nails tactical shooter to a, you guessed it, open-world, shooter looter. Let’s face it, Ubisoft needs to perform a hard reset on a bunch of its franchises to re-engage fans.
Left to Rot
For some reason, Ubisoft has put all their resources into a select few franchises and have left others to waste away. Whilst a remake of Prince of Persia and Splinter Cell is in the works, fans have been waiting years for a new adventure. Oddly, there is a clear gap in the market for both of these which could easily be exploited. Stealth games are few and far between. Often titles integrate mechanics that allow you to sneak up on adversaries but there aren’t many that completely focus on this. Similarly, it’s hard to come by traversal-focused, 3D adventure games like Prince of Persia. This is why I’m perplexed by their decision to remake rather than reboot.
In 2010 Ubisoft announced UbiArt Framework, which spawned an array of incredible games. Kickstarted with Rayman Origins, the platform looked to highlight interesting and innovative 2 and 2.5D titles. During this period, eyes were on the company as great titles like Valiant Hearts: The Great War and Child of Light showcased another side of the publishers. Fast forward to 2022 and that initiative is dead. Rayman has been reduced to auto-run mobile games and smaller projects seem to be non-existent under the French giants.
It’s clear that Ubisoft has a very big problem, their games feel too familiar and they lack originality. Although the company is looking to bring back classics, it’s doing so in the safest way possible. Whilst there is a glimmer of hope in the likes of Beyond Good and Evil 2, words such as ‘games as a service’ are being associated with the title, diminishing its appeal. Ubisoft is in a rut and it needs to change something. It’s time for the publishers to take a risk rather than rely on the same formula that has become a tiring trait in most of their games.
What are your thoughts on Ubisoft? Do you think they need to make a drastic change or do you like their approach to video game design? Are you excited about the upcoming remakes or would you have preferred a new adventure? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.
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