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Ubisoft CEO: ‘We need to release open worlds on a regular basis’

Above: Ubisoft's The Division in action.

Image Credit: Ubisoft

If you love open-world games, Ubisoft just might be the publisher for you.

The company reaffirmed its commitment to the open-world genre in which players to explore generally large, expansive maps without forcing them down stuffy corridors. During a call with investors today, Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot remarked on his company’s success with the genre and how it created techniques to make open-world games easier to develop.

“At Ubisoft, we have released nine open-world games in the last seven years — including two in 2013. This is by far an unmatched performance,” said Guillemot. “Through those years, we have developed technologies and put in place precise processes to ensure efficient collaboration between studios working simultaneously on the same massive maps. This gives us a unique capacity in the industry to release open worlds on a regular basis.”

Ubisoft is definitely on the forefront of the multistudio development structure. Seven different studios worked on Assassin’s Creed III. Some helped port the game to PC or Wii U, some helped build the multiplayer, and others helped make the naval sections. But they all contributed to the game. Other publishers are starting to follow this model. In June, DICE announced that its new DICE L.A. wing would contribute work to its Battlefield games.

Anyone that was paying attention during the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show in early June probably isn’t surprised that Ubisoft is talking up open-world games. Many of the publisher’s upcoming titles all feature the trope. They were one of the reasons we named this E3 “the year of the open world.” In his talk with investors, Guillemot gave credit to games like Grand Theft Auto III and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim before pointing out Ubisoft’s own successes like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry 3.

In the next year, Ubisoft has many more open-world games heading to consoles and PC. Open-world action game Watch Dogs gives players a chance to hack the city of Chicago this fall. In February, Ubisoft will release open-world racing game The Crew. In late 2014, the company will release open-world role-playing shooter The Division on the PS4 and Xbox One consoles.

“We need to release open worlds on a regular basis,” said Guillemot. “That’s the clear direction where games shall evolve.”

Beyond Ubisoft’s infatuation with open world, the company is also looking to incorporate more social and cooperative gameplay features.

“Watch Dogs, The Crew, and The Division are all offering social, co-op, and multiplayer experiences,” said Guillemot. “This will increase player interactions and bring in new players that today do not dare try traditional multiplayer and co-op modes.”

The Crew, The Division, and Watch Dogs all blend single-player with multiplayer elements. Real players can invade each others games seamlessly without interrupting the experience. It’s clear that Ubisoft has a clear philosophy that it wants to tackle all its games with despite any differences in genre or mechanics.


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