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Ubisoft Not Planning On Quick Buck Sequels.


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In a recent interview Ubisoft stated that they are not about making a fast buck off quick release sequels to their successful titles. This might surprise some people! Although GR fans are very familiar with long waits!

Ubisoft's North American president, Laurent Detoc, has stated that the company has no plans to churn out sequels to its major games on an annual basis at the expense of quality and building excitement.

Hopefully this will quell any fears folks had about a barrage off quick release GR titles after GR4.

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Great to hear Laurent reassuring the gaming public that their dreams are safe in UBI's hands. Well done UBI.

Recomend you folks keep on the front foor with this release andcontinue to drive the message home that your not just about quick bucks, but quality games that cater for, and respect the needs of your customers.

In the current economic climate, and with an increasingly sophisticated customer base, companies need to be seen to be truely listening to customers and delivering. Full stop.

Dav.

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If that were the case, then they need to explain GRAW2 and Vegas 2. They were sold as full games but only recieved half the treatment upcoming games are supposedly are getting. They have yet to fix anything in either (GRAW 2 for the PC at least) and have yet to say anything about fixing them (or even the previous version of Vegas).

I will believe it when I see it and the fact that both console and PC games play similarly and return to their former glory as a small squad Tac-Sim and not a hero character action game.

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Well I think more time has already passed between Graw 2 and this next GR game then passed between graw 1 and 2, so maybe they are trying to spend more time on titles.

Has this next ghost recon even been officially anounced other then one website offering it for sale?? My guess is that the release is still a long ways off.

I do feel though that if you have a solid core engine, then you should be able to have either sequels or expansion packs pushed out fairly quickly. Activision is able to do it because they switch developers between games so it can be done as long as there is a collaborative effort between the two teams.

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Has this next ghost recon even been officially anounced other then one website offering it for sale?? My guess is that the release is still a long ways off.

To answer your question at this time there's been no announcement of any new GR game

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Ubisoft's North American president, Laurent Detoc, has stated that the company has no plans to churn out sequels to its major games on an annual basis at the expense of quality and building excitement.

I will believe it when I see it

I agree with WK - I'll believe it when I see it. Actions speak louder than words.

Ubi is a business that has to answer with its bottom line to shareholders, and they didn't invest in studios all around the world not to churn out product year after year. What Detoc says sounds nice, but do you think he'd admit the opposite was true?

How would Ubi compete with EA's Sims, Madden and other sports titles, Activision's CoD franchise, Guitar Hero etc. Only a few companies have strong franchises which games still generate sales more than a year after release like Blizzard, Nintendo etc. I don't think Ubi is yet in that league.

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I don't think Ubi is yet in that league.

Therein lies what many see from Ubi. They are not in the same class as EA or Valve. Ubi may aspire to be at such a level, but they have not attained it as of yet as you stated. Sure, they have released games that brought them large sums of money and there is nothing wrong with that and I would question their goals if they didn't want to make money, but with what they are releasing now pales compared to the quality from other studios and publishers (EA notwithstanding as their customer service is like Ubi's, less than desirable).

A recent topic in the SHIV forums at Ubi brought up the topic of niche games and the fact that they do not have large budgets. From what I have read, neither R6/RS/GR had big budgets (nor other RSE games mind you), but they had one thing going for them. They were different. They were aimed at a particular gamer. They didn't aspire to sell said games to everyone and they didn't expect millions upon millions of dollars being brought in from their sales and this is what all niche market games are about. They can be successful even if they only sell 100,000 copies of it. Of course, some niche market games are more popular than others (MSFS is an example).

What is it about niche games that draws people to them to begin with? To start with, they offer gameplay not found in mainstream games. There is more depth to them along with the ability to mod them for the most part. They draw in a more mature audience that are not interested in the flavor of the month games that are a mainstream gamer's staple. They also draw gamers in enough to play them longer over the years instead of a month and toss it aside when "finished." Something else about niche games is that they will get gamers to buy sequels or expansion packs for them. They also tend to be more complete with fewer bugs for the most part too.

So what does this have to do with Ubi? Take a look at the Forums page at Ubi and take a look at the most popular forums. They are niche games and they do not have people complaining about sound loops or not being able to get past 72% of a level or the fact that Ubi does not communicate with them about upcoming patches or content. They are actually talking about the games (much as the Ubi GR forums were back in 2001-2003). When I first bought GR and started hanging out at the Ubi forums, Ubi had a lot of niche market games (including GR) on the market and they exceled at giving gamers what they wanted in the type of games that they published (notice I didn't say develop). The niche market games were enough that they decided to give the go ahead to develop a new Silent Hunter game along with expanding the iL2 series of games with a whole new game even though Forgotten Battles was supposed to be just an expansion pack for iL2, it ended up being a whole game franchise in and of itself.

So what could Ubi do? Why try to attain the level of an EA or Valve instead of being a leader of games dedicated to or rather directed at the niche gamer? It may not be a cash cow type of operation, but would give those who appreciate such games a chance to look foward to more such games. Ubi would clean up in that respect. What company would not want to have someone willing to drop $40-$50 a pop for a decent game that didn't appeal to everyone and would almost ensure positive sales?

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exactly WK and don't forget the support. Does the game have bugs and errors? then most legit development companies patch their games. perhaps UBI needs to face the music like the big 3 auto manufacturers in the US, let them fail, so they can fix themselves

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This bodes well for most gamers, but i dont think it means anything different than more of the same for the GR franchise.

So they'll put more time into polishing the art and scripting their campaigns, that's awesome if you like their games how they are.

Doesn't mean they're going to change their design philosophy back to the old [GR] days, though.

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I will give Ubi one break on patches, at least for the XBox. The patches still have to go through MS quality control before being released. If said patches are held up there, there is nothing that Ubi can do to hurry it up for release.

The same applies for PS3

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If that were the case, then they need to explain GRAW2 and Vegas 2. They were sold as full games but only recieved half the treatment upcoming games are supposedly are getting. They have yet to fix anything in either (GRAW 2 for the PC at least) and have yet to say anything about fixing them (or even the previous version of Vegas).

I will believe it when I see it and the fact that both console and PC games play similarly and return to their former glory as a small squad Tac-Sim and not a hero character action game.

I'm with you, WK. I'll believe a good Ubi tac-sim when I see it.

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While this little snippet of information hardly qualifies as a definitive reason to uncork the champagne just yet, it - at the very least - signals a positive change in Ubi's ways. If you look closely enough, you may even notice a completely new feat:

Detoc said that the company has learnt from past experiences

And I do not mean that in any sarcastic way, either - there are others that exhibit an almost complete inability to learn from bad decisions - this seems to be especially true for businesses that deem themselves in a somewhat untouchable position.

Bolstered by strong sales and overall well-filled pockets, this move on Ubi's part could be interpreted as a surprising new sense of humbleness in the face of a more and more enlightened clientele for computer games. Not to overestimate this - but one might consider cutting them some slack while waiting for their next maneuver.

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Theirs a familiar saying in business, “Don’t Burn Bridgesâ€.

That is exactly what ubi has done to its PC community, it may be because they thought that the PC community was not a viable market anymore, so they decided to milk us dry, who knows?

I suppose they now realize that they were wrong, there is lots of money to be made and are willing to rebuild those bridges, till they decide to burn them down once again.

They will have to produce something really special for me to even consider one of there products.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Bolstered by strong sales and overall well-filled pockets, this move on Ubi's part could be interpreted as a surprising new sense of humbleness in the face of a more and more enlightened clientele for computer games. Not to overestimate this - but one might consider cutting them some slack while waiting for their next maneuver.

Good discussion going here. I appreciate your optimism ApexMods, but you just have to look around old posts in these forums and Ubi.com to see that Ubi's track record over the past few years have been generally disappointing to older fans.

The general trend is that they have taken hit franchises like GR, R6, Splinter Cell etc in a direction that may have expanded the overall audience, but changed the the games in a way that have left fans of the original versions of the games scratching their heads why they "fixed" or "improved" features of the games that weren't broken.

My take on the real reason why Ubi isn't "churning" out games in the near future is the plain fact that they are just between major iterations of their big franchises. They've already milked the technology for GRAW/GRAW 2, R6 Vegas 1&2 and the last 2 Splinter Cell games with releases in consecutive years. Once the new engines for the "next-gen" versions of these games are done, I'm betting that we will see at least 2 games for each franchise released in back-to-back years.

For example, one can likely bet that something bad has happened to Splinter Cell 5's development at Ubi Montreal - i.e. they've found out the game was heading in the wrong direction and took it back to the drawing board - otherwise I'm sure Ubi would have been more than happy to release a Splinter Cell title in 2008 and pump out a follow up in 2009 made by their Shanghai studio based on the same tech. The next GR and R6 titles will follow the same pattern.

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Maybe I'm missing the point but isn’t that a contradiction in terms??

Well, not really - and CR6 has a valid point there, kleaneasy, in that he refers to previous broken promises and inconsistent policies.

Surely if they're prepared to churn out games so easily they wouldn’t hold a game back from release to do more work on it??

The fact that a title is postponed - for whatever official reason - does not necessarily mean that there is actually any additional work invested in it. It could also just be a matter of marketing strategy, and some of the things Monsieur Detoc chose to share with the world in above mentioned interview seem to hint exactly in that direction:

Explaining the company's long-term approach, Detoc said that Ubisoft is patient enough to allow its brands to grow slowly and let anticipation for its games build [...] "When we bring it back, there will be more anticipation for it," Detoc reasoned in an interview with Forbes [...] That's why, in a bid to build up anticipation, the company waited three years to release its most recent Prince of Persia game.

I try to keep my 2ct on the "glass is half full" side of things, because I prefer optimism for philosophical reasons, but a purely empirical analysis would have to give CR6's opinion the better odds.

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Maybe I'm missing the point but isn’t that a contradiction in terms??

Well, not really - and CR6 has a valid point there, kleaneasy, in that he refers to previous broken promises and inconsistent policies.

Surely if they're prepared to churn out games so easily they wouldn’t hold a game back from release to do more work on it??

The fact that a title is postponed - for whatever official reason - does not necessarily mean that there is actually any additional work invested in it. It could also just be a matter of marketing strategy, and some of the things Monsieur Detoc chose to share with the world in above mentioned interview seem to hint exactly in that direction:

While that is the case in some circumstances its not in regards to Conviction, that said I can understand why some would question it.

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While that is the case in some circumstances its not in regards to Conviction, that said I can understand why some would question it.

kleaneasy, I hope you don't assume that I was suggesting anything to the contrary, and if my post might have lead to that impression, I am sorry for the misunderstanding.

I was merely arguing on the theory of product postponement in general while trying to respond to CR6's as well as your argumentation. It was not my intention to imply any kind of accusation - let alone against any product and its policy in particular, and as I stated before and just to be clear: my personal expectations towards Ubi's future plans are quite optimistic, especially in view of the more recent development, e.g. the very positive signal to refrain from implementing DRM technology in Prince of Persia.

Even if the unarguable history CR6 referred to may not give us too much to go on, it is my personal conviction (no pun intended) that anyone willing to improve should at the very least be given the benefit of the doubt.

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Maybe I'm missing the point but isn’t that a contradiction in terms??

Surely if they're prepared to churn out games so easily they wouldn’t hold a game back from release to do more work on it??

Yes, it does seem a contradiction - thanks for pointing that out kleaneasy!

I guess what I'm saying is that:

1) Once Ubi gets the engine down-pat for a certain generation of games, we can expect at least another "sequel" or "expansion pack" of that game a year later - it just makes sense to some game companies, especially if the game is popular, people will be wanting more, and the cost of developing a new sequel/expansion title with the same engine is significantly less than waiting for the next "full sequel".

However, notice that not every company does this - especially Japanese companies like Nintendo etc. do not release a full Zelda or Mario game every year even though it might make 'em tons of cash in the short term. They generally wait til the next generation of hardware and their games sell for years at full-price based on their high standard of quality. Contrast this to what seems to me like Ubi releasing a game like R6 Vegas with hopes to recoup most of their development costs and turn a profit within the first 3 months of release, then abandoning support for the game after half a year or so to focus on the next iteration, fans then lose interest and the game ends up in the value/bargain bin 1 year later.

2) Something must have really gone wrong with Conviction to delay its release after starting hyping it in 2007 and totally missing 2008. I give any company credit for holding a game's release back to improve it instead of trying to release a broken game early just to prop up the year-end financial results.

my personal expectations towards Ubi's future plans are quite optimistic, especially in view of the more recent development, e.g. the very positive signal to refrain from implementing DRM technology in Prince of Persia.

Once again I think ApexMod's optimistic attitude is excellent - we might as well all hope for the best and we may all be pleasantly surprised. Being negative just to be negative is generally useless, and I am glad that GR fans are adding their constructive suggestions in these forums to what they would like to see in GR4.

However, it is important not to forget negative experiences to keep expectations realistic and also prompt Ubi not to make the same mistakes ... i.e. this can be compared to if someone gets burned from touching a hot stove (a negative experience) will they do it again? So if someone gets burned by purchasing a game like R6 Vegas PC, will they buy another Ubi game?

Let me also add that I am very impressed that Ubi's new PoP game did wait for 3 years since the last iteration and that it did indeed ship without DRM. Kudos to Ubi for a gutsy move to listen to fans and remove the DRM that hurt paying customers much more than any software pirate.

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Ubi is a contradiction of terms. Their actions say one thing yet what they say is entirely something different. As I asked UbiRazz, what makes Conviction so much different that it warrants extra development time while GRAW2 and Vegas 2 were pumped out a year after the first game was released?

If they had been released as expansion packs at a $20 price point instead of full games at $40 or more (especially in the case of console versions, $70 for Vegas 2 on PS3 at a store here at Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News), I could understand Laurent Detoc's assertion that Ubi is not just churning out games for the quick buck, but alas, Ubi did just that in contrast to what he stated.

This is why I stated what I did about Ubi personnel not knowing what their company does along with the rest of what I said. It is obvious to many observers of Ubi and not just me.

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