Ubisoft's Vice President of Sales and Marketing says the triple-A game business these days is too expensive for "fire and forget" development.
In April, Ubisoft Montreal boss Yannis Mallat told gamers to expect more annual sequels from the publisher's properties, because that's what people like and that's what sells. This month, Tony Key, Ubi's VP of sales and marketing, put a bit of a finer point on it, saying that it won't give the go-ahead to any new game unless it thinks it can be built into a franchise.
"We won't even start if we don't think we can build a franchise out of it," Key told A-List Daily. "There's no more fire and forget - it's too expensive."
Ubisoft isn't shy about spending money to market those properties it believes have that potential, however. Key said that the marketing campaign for Assassin's Creed III was double that of any previous effort, yet it "doesn't feel so big anymore" compared to Assassin's Creed IV and Watch Dogs. Yet its approach to the two games is very different: Assassin's Creed IV can tap into the existing fan base and get a "faster start," while Watch Dogs is still in "acquisition mode... trying to find people who are intrigued by the concept," because right now there's "still less awareness outside of the core gaming community than we need to have when we finally launch that game."
"Because now we're in (a) blockbuster world, and Watch Dogs needs to be a blockbuster because it deserves to be and as a company that's what we need it to be," Key said. "It's the most ambitious production in the history of Ubisoft, and we need to make sure that everybody who likes videogames has a chance to decide that this game is going to be hot. That's the hard part about a new brand, that awareness outside the core needs to be created."
Watch Dogs is being made for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC, and will launch on November 19, while Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will follow.
Source: A-List Daily