Ubisoft: We won't consider making a game if it's not a franchise

1 min read
Watch Dogs looks like it is going to be an incredible game.  If it’s everything it’s cracked up to be, we’ll most likely be seeing tons of sequels.  This is all part of Ubisoft’s master plan.

“…We won’t even start if we don’t think we can build a franchise out of it. There’s no more fire and forget – it’s too expensive.”

I have pretty mixed feeling about the whole thing.  On the one hand, it’s nice to know that if I like a game, more of them will be coming.  I would have loved it if Ubisoft had this policy with Beyond Good and Evil (yes, I am obsessed).  The world had plenty of depth and it would have been great to look forward to future games.
However, I think it is far too easy to fall into the trap of churning out sequels without changing the game or letting it evolve.  Just look at the flak Call of Duty gets, or how bad the last Assassin’s Creed was.  You don’t want developers resting on their laurels and assuming that games will sell because gamers enjoyed the previous iteration.  Let’s hope that Ubisoft’s commitment to franchises is coupled with a commitment to innovation and growth.
At least they think on their feet when it comes to marketing.  Watch Dogs is having fun with the NSA scandal – it goes to the very root of the game’s premise.  If they can be agile in their marketing, let’s hope they can be ahead of the pack on keeping their franchises fresh and interesting.


Last Updated: July 16, 2013

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • TiMsTeR1033

    EA words escape me when I think how stupid that us “We won’t even start if we don’t think we can build a franchise out of it. There’s no more fire and forget – it’s too expensive” So instead they copy and paste the living shit outta games just to sell them. Bravo EA bra @#$#@ VOOO!

    • Slade Boender

      *whispers* Its Ubisoft bro.

      • Ultimo_Cleric N7

        That Awkward moment….

        • TiMsTeR1033

          been a long day…..

  • Trevor Davies

    I understand their point, but not everything you release has to be a AAA blockbuster type game.

    I think it’s more risky to put all your eggs in one basket & hope to strike it big in one go than it is to release 3/4 smaller titles for the same amount of money & build off the most successful of those. That could earn you more in the long term.

    It’s like the article the other day about the amount invested in Destiny/Titanfall. If that game flops, or even just does okay, it’s going to be a huge loss.

    • Argentil

      Ubisoft are known for having some of, if not THE largest budget allocations in the industry. Cliffy B cites them regularly in his “USED GAMES ARE KILLING TRIPLE A DEVELOPERS OMGWTFBBQ” arguments. Asshat.

      Personally, I wouldn’t say the quality of their titles thus far have proven radically superior to other games studios with much smaller capital. Games such as Dark/Demon’s Souls, The Witcher series etc. which were scraped together by relatively small teams. Something is broken in the production pipeline of these big studios. I wonder if the salaries of their executives factor into their budgets. Then of course there’s the gross abuse of unintelligent marketing. Another factor could be over-used CG trailers in marketing, Ubisoft are quite guilty of that. At least use the CG in-game for crying out loud.

  • Slade Boender

    IMO. Theres not THAT many good sequels. In fact, most have just left a bitter taste in the mouth as well as fans who simply walked away. If thats really your excuse, because its commercially viable, instead of actually providing some decent content (old hat or new) then what the hell are you doing in gaming? If you are going to improve on the original (ala HL -HL2) please by all means make my day, ill give you money and praise you for all that its worth. However, if you give me cod 90028 2 turbo EX Alpha…. I really hope you die by parasitic bunny infestation.

    Dont use cost as a reason for not being original. There are gaming “Brands” that did perfectly fine alone. Has anyone touched Heavy Rain? I dont see Vanquish 19 on the horizon? Theres no Grim Fandango, attack of the white living boy anywhere?

    Where there’s place for a sequel (MGS, Anno, Borderlands, FF) then yes you have every bit of my support. Where there isnt (COD, COD 89 to the power of a jillion, DNF, Supreme Commander 2, AOE 3, Dead Space 3 etc etc) please just leave us alone. Its for the betterment of humanity, dignity and financial well being.

    • Argentil

      Yup. Some of the best games are once-offs. Stretching things out rarely improves anything. Matrix is a non-game example. The first matrix movie functioned perfectly as a standalone, and was better as a single movie. Sequelitus is usually fatal.

  • Hammersteyn

    So more Blood Dragon then?

    • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

      Hell yes

      • Zubayr Bhyat

        Why the hell not.

        • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

          it would be awesome as hell!

          • John Ambitious

            I feel so out in this conversation. I really should get it

          • That Green Twit

            You and me both.

          • Trevor Davies

            We three

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            we four … oh wait…I think I just wanted to be part of this conversation now

          • Hammersteyn


  • CrasH

    I loved BGE too, but worried that it will fall into the hole a few long awaited games did like, Duke Nukem and Diablo 3 (Dawm you Blizzard/Activition… dawm you…)

    As for Franchises, people tend to like it more than a 1 hitter as you follow a charcter and grow fond of that charcter. So i dont mind it, but then they must be willing to digitally remaster the original.

    Best example for me of this is Monkey island.

    Loved it then, love the newly redone one just as much, now they must just redo 4 and make it back to the art style, not the 3d junk it was.

    • Zubayr Bhyat

      The franchise has to stay good unfortunately.

  • Mathias

    They ruined Assassin’s Creed for me.

    They will probably ruin Far Cry if they come out with another one in less than a year…

    Watch Dogs doesn’t even excite me right now…

    Hell. I don’t give a damn, GTA is coming. Ubisoft can do whatever they want.

    • RinceWind

      If far Cry is out this year without Vass as some ‘origin story’ I will not buy it. Man, can you imagine a Vass origin story video game?! PHUQ yes!

      • John Ambitious

        As long as it’s filled with madness

  • John Ambitious

    Let’s hope this means they’ll get creative without getting stupid

  • Hesperus Phosphorus

    If you establish a long-running franchise like MGS or GTA, that’s great – but so few franchises have all great games with enough innovation to keep them from feeling like an upgraded rehash. It’s sad, though, that this is the reality we face.

  • Ultimo_Cleric N7

    Yes! Lets churn out souless sequels to great games until the consumer gets sick of them!

    • Argentil

      Thank you, completely agree. Ubisoft need to avoid the rut, instead of flinging themselves into it.

  • Argentil

    Oh come on Ubisoft, get over yourselves. You think sequel-churning isn’t going to affect you negatively? Of course it will. They’re openly admitting to milking the cow until she runs dry – as if it wasn’t obvious at this point.
    At least EA and Activision have released new IPs in the last few years.

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