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

Assassin's Creed creator bullish on digital revolution, says developers should makes games "with a cultural point of view."

There's no escaping a digital future for the game industry, according to Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Desilets. During a Gamelab conference session in Barcelona, Spain, attended by GamesIndustry International, Desilets said AAA games are here to stay, though the way they are distributed will change.

"Right now we are at a crossroads in our industry," Desilets said. "But I don't believe the AAA blockbuster will die. Maybe the way it is distributed will change, but it won't die."

"Yeah, games come on disc, and I get it guys you were really pissed off," he added, presumably referencing backlash to the Xbox One's since-reversed policies. "But, deep down, nobody cares about not having CDs any more. The future is digital, and there's nothing you can do about it."

"Deep down, nobody cares about not having CDs any more. The future is digital, and there's nothing you can do about it."

Desilets also called for greater diversity in big-budget games going forward, saying developers should make games "with a cultural point of view" instead of "space marines and shooters."

"I believe we need a revolution in subject matter," Desilets said. "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."

"Make games with a cultural point of view. We did a game, somehow, about the Muslim faith. We did a game about the Italian renaissance. [Ubisoft] did a game about the American Revolution. Having a cultural point of view will become more and more important," he added. "There is something about where I come from in the game I was making [1666: Amsterdam]. I think that will change the entire industry."

Desilets said the game industry is still in its infancy and bemoaned how some games favor blowing things up over interaction between human beings. He explained that the game he was working on, 1666: Amsterdam, was "all about that."

Desilets also gave an update on his current lawsuit against Ubisoft for control of 1666: Amsterdam, which he launched after he was fired last month.

"I'm fighting for it, and that's all I can say for now," Desilets said. "It's all those years of experience put together. 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."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

1223 comments
Ne-Plus-Ultra
Ne-Plus-Ultra

Well if all gaming companies ever do decide to go all digital I hope it doesn't get destroyed like digital did to the music industry. 

And I know the music industry is still around, but it is just a shadow of its pre digital self. 


lostn
lostn

If games release all digital, I won't pay $60 for them. At most $40. If I don't get any resale value out of it, then it is worth less monetary value than the same game on disc.

Steam is fine because games go on sale so cheap that resale value is redundant.

lostn
lostn

 "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." 

 Yes, because an Assassin's Creed game every year CoD style is something else right.

Nymphonomicon
Nymphonomicon

Fight the future. We have enough self-direction to progress on our own, we don't need overzealous game devs and hardware snake-oil salesmen telling us when to move forward.

spindie
spindie

oh im gonna do something about it.. you watch

UrbanMessiah
UrbanMessiah

Apparently Cliffy B has a French Canadian cousin...

kookitto
kookitto

"nobody cares about not having a CD"


bullshit, everybody does. maybe not imbecile apple fanboys

sgtZipper
sgtZipper

Yea yea, we get it already. 1666 was taken from you and it would've been awesome and groundbreaking. Get on with your life.

BuzzLiteBeer
BuzzLiteBeer

The irony lies in the fact that every AC game is almost the same in every other aspect aside from time period.

Uloset
Uloset

I still love my physical media, the last thing I want to be given is the ultimatum repurchases the same games over each gen or live without them.  Or even worse not having access to a classic because its won't be profitable enough for a re-release.  Atleast with something like Steam I'm allowed to back my games up to physical media even if it is with the caveat that it can only be used via Valve's service.

jeffrobin
jeffrobin

Uh oh someone has an opinion and spoke to a reporter about it. Run for the hills, tsunami of self righteous rage coming your way.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Desilets.... STFU

Yes, we need something OTHER than generic FPS space and war shooters (Seriously, they are boring at this point because they haven't changed since Halo or MOH on PS2)

HOWEVER

1.) No, I don't care about having a disc game. You missed the point though you MORON it's about being able to play my games without HAVING to use the internet.

2.) Screw "games with a cultural perspective" Assassin's creed was NOT good due to the Italian renessiance setting, or the crusades, or the revolutionary war.

Assassin's creed was good because of it's free-running mechanic. Without that, that game is just a floppy piece of crap.

We need games with diverse gameplay and writing that drags you in. It has nothing to do with "cultural perspective"

Get off your high horse from making 1 ip that's been popular (Obviously NOT for whatever nonsensical reason you have laid out)

It's about gameplay and story telling, not setting and perspective.

JustPlainLucas
JustPlainLucas

I love industry people who claim "no body cares about X anymore".  Yeah, you're not a customer asshole.  Think from our perspective. 

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

It's kinda funny.... I'm not sure if he is from Quebec or France....  but someone with a French name being a complete condescending A$$-hat...... who would have thought?  

(I've been to France..... and ALL OF THE PEOPLE I TALKED TO WERE CONDESCENDING A$$-HATS, so I'm at least going by anecdotal evidence, not just stereotype..... although the stereotype seems to be true in this, and in many, cases. 

Soviet-Messiah
Soviet-Messiah

Sure, there is something I can do about it: not buy your shitty games. Fuck Assassin's Creed 31, or whatever number your over-milked franchise is on now. :D

dogbert784
dogbert784

He stands to benefit from the "digital future" that's why he's saying that. Gamers don't. I hope he doesn't complain when MS/Sony puts their exclusive digital games at the forefront and his game doesn't get that much attention and doesn't sell well. 

"We aren't gamers taking gaming risks with their money anymore??"

"Welcome to the future."  

Amillennialist
Amillennialist

No, you didn't make a game "in some way about the Muslim faith," you created a piece of pro-jihad propaganda, glamorizing Muslim assassins murdering Christians.

(By analogy, when are you going to make a game where we get to play Nazis slaughtering Jews? That'd be a game "somehow about German culture," right?)

Of course, atrocities were committed by Crusaders against other Christians and Jews (and some possibly-innocent Muslims), but the first Crusade was called by Pope Urban II in defense of Christians in the east under attack for centuries by ... Islam.

(How do you think that the Holy Land -- Christian and Jewish -- came under Islamic control? Love and good deeds?)

And the Knights Templar -- The "Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon" -- defended innocent pilgrims who were butchered regularly by Muslims.

Please, be honest.

straightcur
straightcur

guys like this are the problem with the gaming industry. they hire people with very little skill at story telling and try to add story and emotion to their games but fail miserably.  all we get are the same games over and over again, with shiny new graphics or whatever......    I buy less  and less games every year 

Tee_Mal
Tee_Mal

A digital copy of a game which becomes obsolete when I'm finished with it? 

The inability to trade sell or loan it?

Video games are a different breed of media consumption than music or movies and these guys want you to think they're the same thing and that they have the same benefits whereas in reality there are no real benefits for the consumers, only cons, besides a price drop which I don't even see any proof of currently based on Xbox live prices for digital versions of games, so what then.

Actually there is something I can do about it, I can refuse to buy it.

Deeznoobs
Deeznoobs

This guy wants to nominate himself for being multi-culti game developer of the year because he thinks the Assassin's Creed games were about the Muslim faith and the Italian Renaissance? What the fuck is this guy smoking? Those games were about sneaking around and stabbing people in the face. No one pearned a goddamn thing about Islam or whatever else from that shit. What a self-congratulatory douchebag.

Klyern
Klyern

8=========D

thats what i think about Desilet's views on digitalisation

videogamer5
videogamer5

The only reason people play assassins creed is to stab people in the face. Regardless of where they're set in time, they all play exactly the same with little or no meaningful change between them. This guy is way to full of himself.

Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

Were Assassin's Creed games really that "cultural"? I assume that's what he was referencing when he provided examples above.

Dark_Arcitekt
Dark_Arcitekt

I love how this guy acts like he speaks for all of us. The future may or may not be digital, but to act like you know it is for sure is crap. He gave a speculation, nothing more. Now get back to making your yearly milking game.

lostn
lostn

@BuzzLiteBeer And the fact that it comes out every year. The only non-sports game to do that is Call of Duty.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

@jeffrobin Or you know, just counter-opinions from people who think Desilets is an idiot every time he opens his mouth.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

@JustPlainLucas Allow me to re-iterate his one valid point.

HALO
COD
MOH
BATTLEFIELD
GOW
DUST
Shooters a-z

Are all SHIT GAMES with no desire to expand our medium whatsoever. They are generic, with almost no worthwhile story elements. They all have the same goal in every level, with the same mechanics, and they all have the exact same multi-player.

They may have STARTED good, but they sure as hell aren't any more.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

@Soviet-Messiah I agree.

The 2nd one was cool (And the mirror sequels) But now it's just too much AND you ruined it.

in the 3rd one... what the hell am I gonna climb on? It's colonial America for F's sake.

a tree? F that.

I want to climb BUILDINGS that's the whole reason I ever bought your stupid "cultural" games.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

@Amillennialist lol you know it doesn't even matter because he is totally wrong anyway right?

No one with a brain decided to play these games because of their settings. It was the free-running and the killing.

No one gives a rat's ass about "Cultural" game settings.

Keeper_Artemus
Keeper_Artemus

@Amillennialist Whoa, buddy.  You're not exactly wrong, but you're frothing at the mouth a little too much.  Pro-jihad propaganda?  More like  "dumb medieval actioney Dan Brown shenanigans."  

AC's storyline is pretty stupid, but I don't think it has ever tried to prove a historical or cultural point (I hope), but only provide a historical base on which to build a fun game where you climb buildings and kill people.  

Are the bad guys pretty much Christians? yep. Are the good guys pretty much Muslims? yep.  But it has less to do with religion and more to do with the standard tactic of making bad guys part of the West, America, or some big corporation or power, and making the good guys the underdog.  

But yeah, I think we can agree that Desilets is a moron.

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

@Amillennialist  

I started with Assassin's Creed 2..... I'd heard that AC1 was kinda like that but I found AC1 to be more of a tech-demo for free-running without much substance (I did TRY to play AC1.... just wasn't enough "meat" to the game for me to get into it at all).

I've kinda wondered why they picked the Knights Templar to be the bad guys and I wasn't very comfortable being a Muslim slaughtering Christians..... I suppose I could have said more succinctly: I agree with you, or at least the moderate amount of knowledge I have on the era agrees with  you. 

Slinqy
Slinqy

@Amillennialist 

The Assassins were heretics, not Muslims. And Altair killed Templars, not Christians. And yes, there is a difference.

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

@Tee_Mal  

Yup, it's all about voting with the wallet.  If there is a digital version of a game and a disc version, I'd advise people who don't like this whole "Digital, not owning any of your own purchases" thing to buy the hard-copy.  Like that guys comment about "nobody cares about not owning CDs anymore",  I dunno, I'm not cool about not having a hard-copy.... but it's kinda different in that case because you can easily burn a hard-copy of your MP3s or even turn them into WAVs... it's not so easy to do the same with a digitally-purchased game (at least not for the average lay-person.) 

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

@videogamer5 

I only bought them to free-run and kill.

Then they moved it to Colonial America.. where there are no buildings bigger than 2 stories...

Why do I care that it's during the Revolutionary war?

...Though, we could use another war (IN COUNTRY)

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

@Yomigaeru No, but he sure thinks they are.

No one cares about the settings, it's about free-running.

besides, you screwed up with the last setting. What the hell am I gonna climb in colonial times? A tree?

F U

jeffrobin
jeffrobin

@VenkmanPHD @jeffrobin Well he may be a loud mouth and not very PC in his comments but he is actually right, digital gaming IS the future and there is nothing we can do about it. Look at music, when was the last time you played a CD. I think physical disks if they exist at all in 10 years time, will be for collectors like records are today.

Ok he could have SAID it better but his point is valid. Actually he talks like I do in private he just needs to learn how to not let his internal voice out.

The weirdest thing about this article is it is so humdrum the guy is saying the bleedin' obvious but his fame amongst gamers seems to get him an article. Oh well...

Amillennialist
Amillennialist

@Keeper_Artemus @Amillennialist Whether or not he intended to make enemies of Western Civilization sympathetic or to demonize its defenders, he did.

(And I don't think it's wise to underestimate the influence of entertainment, especially on the uninformed.)

Amillennialist
Amillennialist

@CaptWaffle @Amillennialist I'm all for fun and games, and I can appreciate commanding German forces in Panzer General or the Soviet army in Company of Heroes -- for people my age, those mortal enemies are dead and buried. No one's trying to blitzkrieg or sneak attack us. (But I can see where someone who survived the Holocaust would be outraged.)

However, at this very moment, untold millions support (in various ways) the "divine" mandate to "kill the pagans wherever you find them"(Qur'an 9:5), and innocent people around the world are being maimed and murdered in fulfillment of that "revelation."

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

@s3as3a @Klyern 

(o) <<< You can shove that right here with what I think of his "Cultural" games.

No one bought your games for that reason you self-loving D-bag.

42316
42316

@jeffrobin @VenkmanPHD Well that sucks, I actually like Collectors edition of games!.... What wrong with having both? People who want their games on disc can go ahead and bu whilst the digi only peeps can sit a DL...seems like a no-brainer or am I missing something!


P.S. You tend to forget that an mp3 weighs in at 7 mb or so where as games can come in at 10gb+ which is quite unreasonable for a LOT of people. Yes, internet speeds will increase and HDD space will grow but it will take time, who knows how long but time nonetheless. 

Slinqy
Slinqy

@Amillennialist @Slinqy 

The Templars in Assassins Creed were not purposed in defending pilgrims from thieves and jihadists. They were devoted to avarice and control. Hardly followers of Christ. There may have been real, actual, sincere Christian Templars who served to do exactly what the order was founded for, but the ones in Assassin's Creed are not those men.