Home Gaming Desilets: The future is digital, and there's nothing you can do about it

Desilets: The future is digital, and there's nothing you can do about it

2 min read

Former Ubisoft and THQ creative director, Assassin’s Creed creator and currently unemployed developer, Patrice Desilets, believes that AAA titles will survive… but only if they go fully digital.  He says there is clearly still demand for the types of games that he makes, and that eventually AAA games will make money again.

When asked if mobile platforms will make AAA titles invalid, Desilet explains that the games satisfy a need that other games can’t.  Comparing mobile games to trashy magazines, he explains that while they’re fun and entertaining, they don’t fill the intellectual void like a novel does – they are interactive experiences.  However, he only sees AAA titles as being viable if the distribution model changes.  Referring to the backlash Microsoft dealt with before their 180, he said:

“Yeah, games come on disc, and I get it guys you were really pissed off, but, deep down, nobody cares about not having CDs any more. The future is digital, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

He went on to speak about the scope of blockbuster games, arguing

“I believe we need a revolution in subject matter.  It has been four E3s that I’ve gone to, and it’s always the same thing. I get it: we all like space marines and shooters, but come on, we need to talk about something else.

While I agree with him, I’m not too impressed with his sanctimonious airs.  He claims that games need to have cultural points of view, pointing to Assassin’s Creed.  He went on to say

“Having a cultural point of view will become more and more important. There is something about where I come from in the game I was making [1666: Amsterdam]. I think that will change the entire industry.  We’re still talking about these things because the medium is really in its infancy. It’s so much easier in terms of production and coding to just blow stuff up than to create an interaction about human beings. It’s so much more subtle than killing. Eventually we’ll get there, and it’s really a shame that I cannot finish 1666, because it was about all of that.”

“I’m sorry guys, it was amazing. And it still is amazing, and I hope to get it back and finish it for you – and for me.”

I understand that Desilets is upset about needing to fight and file law suits in order to get his IP back – that is seriously awful.  However, stop being so arrogant.  Sure, maybe your game would be interesting and wonderful, or maybe it really wouldn’t be.  I think he is really wrong about the whole digital distribution thing, so maybe he’s wrong about his game, too.  Maybe time will tell – we’ll have to see how things pan out between him and Ubisoft.

Last Updated: June 28, 2013


  1. Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    June 28, 2013 at 09:51

    I’d like to have those awesome big boxes again! Filled with manuals and nice things!


    • Trevor Davies

      June 28, 2013 at 10:03

      You’re just confused, he said no one cares about that because he doesn’t so it must be true.


    • OminousRain

      June 28, 2013 at 10:07

      Ja, I miss those.


    • Captain Minion TallTwit

      June 28, 2013 at 10:12

      Yeah paper manuals, not PDFs.


    • Wtf101

      June 28, 2013 at 10:29

      YES! And Fights. Never forget the fights! “Why do you insist on keeping those big boxes! They make the place look untidy! WAAAAHHHHHH”


    • Hesperus Phosphorus

      June 28, 2013 at 11:46

      Loved those mammoths with such great goodies. However, I must say that since they’ve been stripping down what you get with your physical copy I have actually come to prefer digital, simply for its convenience. You used to look forward to opening a new game just to check out the packaging, manual and whatever inserts there were… now there’s generally bugger all except a disc and a piece of paper… woohoo…


  2. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    June 28, 2013 at 09:52

    “Yeah, games come on disc, and I get it guys you were really pissed off, but, deep down, nobody cares about not having CDs any more. The future is digital, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
    Hmmm…I have seen this attitude somewhere before…didnt end to well for them either.
    And deep down, I DO want a CD copy of my game, because it proves that its MINE, I have the physical evidence to show that I bought the game. The more I see DRM in the market, the more I feel like I am paying R500 and over to RENT a game from the studio.
    Also, please get me some extra large fries, McD’s employees should always serve the customer asap.


    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      June 28, 2013 at 10:18

      Hahaha. Patrice. You watch too much How I met Your Mother.


    • Argentil

      June 28, 2013 at 10:21

      I like my game collection. I display it proudly in my lounge. Digital just isn’t the same. I will switch to digital sometime in the future when there are incentives that outweigh collectability, but we’ll all look back on the days of physical media with fondness.


    • RinceWind

      June 28, 2013 at 10:36

      Agreed. I do like having disks on display but digital is the way of the future. Yes, we moan about SA’s internet, but the world doesn’t set its standards by us. We follow, we don’t lead… YET!


  3. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    June 28, 2013 at 09:59

    Remember how tape and CD were going to kill LPs? And, in fact for the most part they did. You couldn’t find an LP unless you walked into a second hand store, but guess what…? If you’re a music aficionado, 100 year old tech still provides the best raw sound….

    LPs have made a comeback. A serious comeback!

    My point: Quite simply, while digital may be the future, as long as people are adamant about their rights as consumers (and that they’re not merely licensing their games, but rather owners of the disks they bought), disks will exist. A completely digital existence of gaming, given the size of the data involved, and given the vast disparity in bandwidth and connections across the globe (and even in “first world countries”) makes me think that digital will never be the only option.


    • Jonah Cash

      June 28, 2013 at 10:38

      I saw a LP player that can convert your LP’s to MP3 at High Fi Corruption the other day, and they sell LP’s next to it…. So let me see if I get this, you can buy the LP player/recorder to make your LP’s MP3’s…. But for us who are younger than 30, who don’t own LP’s we have to buy them to make them MP3’s………… I don’t get it!!! Hahahaha


      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        June 28, 2013 at 11:06

        Ok, that’s crazy!

        However, once you go LP, you also start wearing twead jackets, grow a moustache and smoke a pipe. It just changes you. You might not even feel the need to convert your LPs to MP3, because you’ll lounge next to your LP player, open a book, and smoke your pipe.

        Instant gentleman status achieved!


  4. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    June 28, 2013 at 10:05

    Are all these people so blinded by money, arrogance and cushy, comfy lives that they fail to understand the entire gaming world is not online yet? Or that those who are online don’t actually have all the bandwidth in the world to download their digital games?

    Seriously! Catch a wake up! Those who do have the bandwidth to do so, great, but what about us who can’t? Stop being so short sighted that you forget the world isn’t capable of having what you have which you forget is a privilege.

    Yes, digital distribution is a driving point and an important one to drive. But that doesn’t mean that no one wants or needs physical. Honestly. Just because I can authenticate my game doesn’t mean I’d also be able to completely download it.


  5. Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    June 28, 2013 at 10:05

    Digital is the future, but I see it coexisting with Physical copies too….

    “deep down, nobody cares about not having CDs any more” i don’t think he can be more wrong. Nothing beats buying a physical game, smelling the cover, reading the manual while you take a dump and finally taking the disc out and popping it into the console ……


    • Tbone187

      June 28, 2013 at 10:28

      Yup, and complete manuals with Character bios and so on…Not these one pagers with a website address to visit…and it’s about the only time I actually read the credits… 🙂


      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        June 28, 2013 at 10:33

        Indeed, freaking Skyrim came with a Huge ass map. But I agree with you on that, even the quality of Manuals went down


  6. OminousRain

    June 28, 2013 at 10:09

    I like my digital downloads. Well I like Steam. Lets put it like that. (Just got Rocksmith for 8$, its awesome) So I don’t mind.

    But when it comes to my “epic” games. Skyrim and so forth. I would like my physical box and cd.


    • Slade Boender

      June 28, 2013 at 10:37

      you bloody beauty, was hoping it would be on special some time, been looking to play this game for ages.


      • OminousRain

        June 28, 2013 at 10:39

        Well you still have 8 hours left. It is current on a 75% discount. You can get it for 7.49$


        • Slade Boender

          June 28, 2013 at 10:47

          Bought it as soon as i saw your post man. A beer payment for you is in order.


  7. Macethy

    June 28, 2013 at 10:19

    Ahem you are wrong Mr.Desilets, there is something I can do about…


    Have a good weekend everyone


    • Captain Minion TallTwit

      June 28, 2013 at 10:22

      And too you too 🙂


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      June 28, 2013 at 12:03

      Macethy came, he saw and he commented! (like a Boss)


  8. Kromas

    June 28, 2013 at 10:58

    “Comparing mobile games to trashy magazines, he explains that while
    they’re fun and entertaining, they don’t fill the intellectual void like
    a novel does” – Unless the novel is Twilight.


  9. Happy Hamster

    June 28, 2013 at 11:09

    Alot of companies e.g megarom ect will close there doors if it goes Digital


  10. silverscorpio

    June 28, 2013 at 11:52

    I am sure that everyone would like to go digital but if the infrastructure does not support it then it is a moot argument. Nobody is arguing against all digital but do you have access and can you afford it. I am really tired of these “get used to it” arguments. An argument like that shows us why he is unemployed at the moment and how ignorant he is. OK go all digital but do not complain if you make less money because a lot of potential customers cant even access the service. Then he must get used to it.

    As a side note, why should I pay the same price for digital as for retail when I still have to download it and do not have a physical copy despite the fact that the expenses for the publisher has decreased. Do not get me wrong, I like digital downloads but why should I pay the same price?


  11. Turd Ferguson

    June 28, 2013 at 16:46

    I prefer having the physical disc in my hand. That having been said, given I can download 22g in ~2 hours. I can make do either way.


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