Ubisoft CEO Says Long Console Cycle Stifles New IPs

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Ubisoft CEO Says Long Console Cycle Stifles New IPs

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Yves Guillemot says that the videogame industry was comfortable with the old console cycle of five years.

Ubisoft's CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot thinks that the long life of the current console generation is stifling creativity. "Transitions are the best times, are the best ways, to make all of our creators take more risks and do different things," Guillemot said. Because the cycle of new consoles has lengthened from five years to seven, Guillemot claims, less developers are willing to take risks when they can move forward with a tried-and-tested format of sequels. He says that even if new IPs are good, "they don't sell as well" late in a console generation. His principal piece of evidence is that the industry was set up for the old console cycle, and so the new, longer cycle has been disruptive.

Gamers are more willing to buy new ideas at the beginning of the cycle, says Guillemot, "because there are lots of hardcore gamers and those guys want new things." Conversely, the mass market has entered into the console by the end of the generation, and "the mass market will be more interested in having the same experience and doesn't want to take as much risks [sic] because it's not aware as much of what is going to change its experience."

It's easy to say that Guillemot might be wrong, given the success this year of new IPs like Sleeping Dogs and Dishonored. There's certainly a degree of separation between those success stories and Ubisoft's sequel-studded catalog. Guillemot's argument is interesting given the release of the Wii U, the vanguard of the next generation, where Ubisoft's offering is ZombiU - a new IP with interesting gameplay. Even if there's no evidence to back up Guillemot's claims, with ZombiU as a model Ubisoft is leading by example in showing that the beginning of a generation is the time to innovate, and doing so with gusto.

Source: Polygon

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Short version: WE NEED NEW CONSOLES DAMNIT!

I'm glad Ubisoft has seen the light. Now if only Sony and MS would come out of the darkness they cast themselves into.

It's this attitude that is stifling new IP in the AAA games industry, not hardware. By this logic new IP should be being released all the time on PC, whose hardware takes strides each year. Ironically, PC gaming is most active in indie cricles which doesn't need all the new fancy hardware.

I was under the impression that a lot of cool new IPs tend to pop up towards the end of a console's life cycle, as most of the big developers have moved on to the next piece of hardware.

...Wait, are we listening to Ubisoft again?

Yes, because if there is anything that stops companies from milking a franchise, it's new platforms ~_~.

JediMB:
I was under the impression that a lot of cool new IPs tend to pop up towards the end of a console's life cycle, as most of the big developers have moved on to the next piece of hardware.

While the cooler stuff does tend to roll out towards the end of the cycle, they tend to be commercial failures because when the news of a system's successor comes along everyone stops investing in the current system.

A good example is Okami, a critical darling and commercial flop, and in most regions it was released only a couple of months before the PS3 launched in the same region.

MorphingDragon:
It's this attitude that is stifling new IP in the AAA games industry, not hardware. By this logic new IP should be being released all the time on PC, whose hardware takes strides each year. Ironically, PC gaming is most active in indie cricles which doesn't need all the new fancy hardware.

That's the thing. Why do consoles need to have good graphics to make better games in terms of IPs? Answer that Ubi, and I'll be more accepting. Just stop shafting PC gamers first...

DVS BSTrD:
Yes, because if there is anything that stops companies from milking a franchise, it's new platforms ~_~.

Yeah how can ubisoft make another re-make from the original rayman if there is still no new console cycle >.>

JediMB:

...Wait, are we listening to Ubisoft again?

Heh, that is what I was thinking. Developers are familiar with the consoles and the devkits, along with engines currently running on them. It means more money can be spent on doing new than trying to pretty up an engine from 1 million pixels to 1.000001 million pixels, and introducing a whole shit-ton of new bugs to iron out and wrestle with.

Honestly, newer consoles more often mean sequels to help hype up the next thing. ZombieU is hit or miss to me, and frankly a lot of the other games announced for the WiiU is nothing but ports and sequels, which discredits him already.

Get off your arses MS and Sony, Ubisoft needs new gimmicks to shovel into Rayman.

This coming from the company that said AC3 was the closest thing to a new Ip that we're going to get this late in the cycle. Delusional, much?

So what, who cares what the toilet cleaner at Ubisoft says...

Oh, he's the CEO, you say?

My oh my. It suddenly got all dark and cold and stupid.

If only there was a game platform that is constantly updating itīs hardware...


These release cycles are all over the place, but it's worth noting that only two of them were ever five year cycles. More often than not, they have been longer for consoles, and shorter for handhelds (or longer with an in-between release, depending on how you count the GBC, DSi, and PSP Go). I don't think it's fair to say we need to return to something that only Nintendo ever adhered to in the first place.

P.S. Thanks

Covarr:


These release cycles are all over the place, but it's worth noting that only two of them were ever five year cycles. More often than not, they have been longer for consoles, and shorter for handhelds (or longer with an in-between release, depending on how you count the GBC, DSi, and PSP Go). I don't think it's fair to say we need to return to something that only Nintendo ever adhered to in the first place.

P.S. Thanks

Generation release cycles

Third to Fourth
NES (1983) -> Genesis (1988) 5 years

Forth to Fifth
SGenesis (1988) -> PlayStation/Saturn (1994) 5 years

Fifth to Sixth
PlayStation/Saturn (1994) -> Dreamcast (1998) 4 years

Sixth to Seventh
Dreamcast (1998) -> XBOX 360 (2005) 7 years

Seventh to Eighth
XBOX 360 (2005) -> WiiU (2012) 7 years

Wrong. Developers LET long console cycles stifle new IPs. Don't wait for new technology to do the innovating for you.

lol

yay!! Ubisoft's CEO is a dumb as a brick, confirmed for what >.> the 300th time this year?

anyway, new IP doesn't need new hardware, it needs some one with creativity, something the AAA market is sorely lack atm

"Ubisoft CEO Says Long Console Cycle Stifles New IPs"

3 Games
4 Main series
4.1 Assassin's Creed
4.2 Assassin's Creed II
4.3 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
4.4 Assassin's Creed: Revelations
4.5 Assassin's Creed III
5 Other games
5.1 Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles
5.2 Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines
5.3 Assassin's Creed II: Discovery
5.4 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
5.5 Assassin's Creed: Lost Legacy
5.6 Assassin's Creed: Multiplayer Rearmed
5.7 Assassin's Creed III: Liberation
6 Future
7 Other media
7.1 Comics
7.1.1 Assassin's Creed: Graphic Novel
7.1.2 Assassin's Creed, Volume 1: Desmond
7.1.3 Assassin's Creed, Volume 2: Aquilus
7.1.4 Assassin's Creed, Volume 3: Accipiter
7.1.5 Assassin's Creed: The Fall
7.1.6 Assassin's Creed: The Chain
7.2 Films
7.2.1 Assassin's Creed: Lineage
7.2.2 Assassin's Creed: Ascendance
7.2.3 Assassin's Creed: Embers
7.2.4 Film
7.3 Novels
7.3.1 Assassin's Creed: Renaissance
7.3.2 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
7.3.3 Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade
7.3.4 Assassin's Creed: Revelations
7.3.5 Assassin's Creed: Forsaken
7.4 Books
7.4.1 Assassin's Creed: Encyclopedia

Really Guillemot? It's the console cycle's fault? The f'ing nerve...

cursedseishi:

JediMB:

...Wait, are we listening to Ubisoft again?

Heh, that is what I was thinking. Developers are familiar with the consoles and the devkits, along with engines currently running on them. It means more money can be spent on doing new than trying to pretty up an engine from 1 million pixels to 1.000001 million pixels, and introducing a whole shit-ton of new bugs to iron out and wrestle with.

Honestly, newer consoles more often mean sequels to help hype up the next thing. ZombieU is hit or miss to me, and frankly a lot of the other games announced for the WiiU is nothing but ports and sequels, which discredits him already.

Actually, more money is spend to getting the bloody games to work on outdated hardware than engine. It is easier to optimize for a new console if you don't have to get out all the power and then realise that it is still not enough for a fucking holster animation (hi ME3).

thesilentman:

MorphingDragon:
It's this attitude that is stifling new IP in the AAA games industry, not hardware. By this logic new IP should be being released all the time on PC, whose hardware takes strides each year. Ironically, PC gaming is most active in indie cricles which doesn't need all the new fancy hardware.

That's the thing. Why do consoles need to have good graphics to make better games in terms of IPs? Answer that Ubi, and I'll be more accepting. Just stop shafting PC gamers first...

*sigh* It is quite simple. Gamer don't buy new IPs. They buy what they know. There is a reason that games with an additional number at the end sell a lot - they have established a fanbase.

At the beginning of a lifecyle the audience is willing to invest in new IPs because the libraries are still small - they need shiny new stuff for they shiny new toy.

Also, it seems you have no idea what hardware does. Better hardware = better everything. More open levels, better AI, better performance (Sorry, 30 fps is just unplayable).

itchcrotch:
Wrong. Developers LET long console cycles stifle new IPs. Don't wait for new technology to do the innovating for you.

Not really. Crysis is the best example where the extended life cycle prevents it from being used on the last gen system. Developers are constantly refining their stuff but for the last 30 years they've had a pretty steady increase in tech to account for it. Now they're being asked to wait 8+ years before the bulk of hardware is upgraded which means you have to tell the art department that you can't use the fancy new models because the current systems don't have enough memory. Then you have to go back and reuse the old stuff which means no innovation. The PC world is in a state of constantly improving hardware so it doesn't have this issue, and if the consoles fail to improve then the PC market start to pick up the slack. However, the bulk of games are sold on consoles and if the bulk of revue is locked in dated hardware then only a few games get made that take advantage of the new stuff. Optimizing for the old stuff only takes you so far and then every game starts looking the same.

look ubisoft, stop making excuses! if zombiU didnt sell well its because it wasnt a good game

Well Ubisoft, the WiiU just came out. It's a new console, and you have one new IP on it. The rest of the games you put on it are tied to existing franchises.

It's not the consoles, it's you.

batti:
If only there was a game platform that is constantly updating itīs hardware...

Shut up, we don't want the lesser ones to know, just yet.

I think it would be nice if the console makers and game developers stopped focusing so much on gimmicks, and increasing hardware capabilities is as much of a gimmick as motion controls, and just try to make solid games with strong storylines and fewer bugs.

Look at Borderlands and Borderlands 2, both have done very well and are entertaining because of their stories and gameplay rather than how many pixels can be squeezed onto each model.

Power isn't necessary for innovation. Innovation is not flashier prettier graphics. Creativity does not require more powerful hardware, that is just a fallacy. The issue is that companies don't invest in new IP's because they don't take chances. It's just an excuse that the console life is long this time around. A truly creative person works with the tools they have on hand and doesn't lament not having more. This is the same for IP's. What do they think is going to happen with more powerful hardware exactly? They'll make FPS with better graphics, they'll make Gears of War with better graphics, they'll make Uncharted with better graphics.... idiots.

Yeah, that makes sense. It's silly to think that new IP can do well at the end of a console cycle when devs really know what the hardware is capable of.

If what this guy is saying is true, then we have a scenario in which the ultimate goal of any dev team is to become comfortable enough with a console's architecture to reliably produce yearly instalments of the same game.

TheKasp:
*sigh* It is quite simple. Gamer don't buy new IPs. They buy what they know. There is a reason that games with an additional number at the end sell a lot - they have established a fanbase.

At the beginning of a lifecyle the audience is willing to invest in new IPs because the libraries are still small - they need shiny new stuff for they shiny new toy.

Also, it seems you have no idea what hardware does. Better hardware = better everything. More open levels, better AI, better performance (Sorry, 30 fps is just unplayable).

Yeah, but that's only if the publishers chose to do so. That's the thing, I'm not sure whether Ubi is going to make innovative games and such. I'm being pessimistic so far as I have had no reason to be excited for most genres today.

Huh. All it really stifles is next-gen remakes. Limiting technology forces companies to be more creative or fail... at some point... I guess...

This seems to contradict what that one Rockstar person said about consoles being at its best at late in the generation.

But then again, I hope that "The Agent" game is not canceled and its at least being saved for next gen.

Paragon Fury:
Short version: WE NEED NEW CONSOLES DAMNIT!

or, get a PC and you have a always-changing machine that gets the most new IPs.

Ubisoft, you stifle new IPs, not consoles.

TheKasp:

*sigh* It is quite simple. Gamer don't buy new IPs. They buy what they know. There is a reason that games with an additional number at the end sell a lot - they have established a fanbase.

At the beginning of a lifecyle the audience is willing to invest in new IPs because the libraries are still small - they need shiny new stuff for they shiny new toy.

Also, it seems you have no idea what hardware does. Better hardware = better everything. More open levels, better AI, better performance (Sorry, 30 fps is just unplayable).

And i was going to say you are 100% correct but then you pull the stupidity about 30 FPS. i am disappoint :(

thesilentman:
Yeah, but that's only if the publishers chose to do so. That's the thing, I'm not sure whether Ubi is going to make innovative games and such. I'm being pessimistic so far as I have had no reason to be excited for most genres today.

Publishers chose to do so because the numbers support it. Most new IPs that launch now struggle to get the numbers needed to not be a failure while new IPs at the start of a console cycle sell like hot buns.
*points at WiiU and ZombiU* Yeah, Ubisoft actually does throw out new IPs. I would not worry about that, it is pretty much the norm. We'll see more new stuff when the next gen consoles are released.

That you don't have a reason to be excited for most genres today is your problem, I have no interest in that at all. I still enjoy gaming and get my fair share of new releases a year that make my day.

Strazdas:

And i was going to say you are 100% correct but then you pull the stupidity about 30 FPS. i am disappoint :(

Well, it is just a pet peeve of mine. I can't play anything low FPS that is fast paced.

i think he is full of shit i mean how long has the current PC cycle been going on? like 20 years and there are plenty of new IP's that go off on there just look at minecraft hell star citizen isn't even made yet and it has made 7 million

Well I can see nothing has changed at Ubisoft. Totally blinded by shear stupidity and seperation from its market.

And how does this explain Beyond Two Souls, Ni No Kuni, THe Last of Us, The Puppeteer, and Until Dawn?

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