Lack of next-gen hurting creativity, says Ubisoft

Company CEO Yves Guillemot says industry has been "penalized" by lengthy current generation, calls end of cycle "very difficult" for new IPs.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot wants the next generation of hardware to arrive sooner rather than later. Speaking to Gamasutra, the executive explained that the extended current-generation cycle is cramping creativity.

Guillemot is chomping at the bit for next-gen tech.

"What we missed was a new console every five years," Guillemot said. "We have been penalized by the lack of new consoles on the market. I understand the manufacturers don't want them too often because it's expensive, but it's important for the entire industry to have new consoles because it helps creativity."

Guillemot went on to explain that when new consoles launch, gamers are more likely to try something new, instead of picking up serialized franchises like Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed.

"It's a lot less risky for us to create new IPs and new products when we're in the beginning of a new generation," he said. "Our customers are very open to new things. Our customers are reopening their minds--and they are really going after what's best. … At the end of a console generation, they want new stuff, but they don't buy new stuff as much. They know their friends will play Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed so they go for that. So the end of a cycle is very difficult."

Guillemot also answered a question about Nintendo's next-generation console, the Wii U. Other publishers, including Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive, have questioned the technology, but Guillemot said Ubisoft won't bet against Nintendo.

"I think Nintendo has very often surprised us, so you never know," he said. "I think they've created something good, if the customer uses everything they have created, I think we can see a good success with that machine. That type of collaboration can be fun and also challenging at the same time. It's something that has never been done before. …Those guys are taking lots of risks with the games they create--and they're extremely successful."

Ubisoft is bringing a number of its franchises to the Wii U, including Just Dance, Assassin's Creed, Rayman, and Ghost Recon, as well as a brand-new shooter game, ZombiU.

Written By

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

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0 comments
xboxps2cube
xboxps2cube

so if  you read between the lines it says this - we want to produce old tired games for the new consoles so they have to buy the new ones from us because we the only game in town. 

xboxps2cube
xboxps2cube

stupidest comment i ever heard.  The only problem is the graphics and memory so they are crazy.

MoonlightJust
MoonlightJust

These kinds of statements are inane and assinine.  Later in console cycle doesn't limit anything.  If anything its easier to work with and you have an established player base.  Square Enix tried to blame their recent decline on the same thing,  blaming the current console gen for their lack of games.  Absolutely stupid.

dabomb790
dabomb790

What Yves Gullemot really doesn't make any sense because when you start out on a new console you have a very small install base. I can understand his ideology/philosophy that people can POSSIBLY be open to new products during the introduction of a new console generation that you risk a lot more because may even be apprehensive on the new hardware on store shelves. So what do you do then? It makes a lot more sense if you release new IPs during the current-gen and continue it to the next console cycle because there's a larger install base and you have a much more stronger chance in getting back financial returns as oppose to playing Russian Roulette on an expensive new IP that is sitting on the middle of a seesaw if whether people will buy it or not. I think from a business point-of-view it just makes more sense to launch new IPs now instead of when new consoles arrive. Look at Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, and Dishonored. All of them were highly rated and were commercial successes. Now is the time. Don't wait on tomorrow.

dmblum1799
dmblum1799

Well, the one thing these outdated consoles is hurting is cutting edge PC graphics. My card is a year old and is still runs everything I get on ultra settings. That did not used to be the case.

 

Crysis could not be made into today's gaming climate, it would have been neutered for the consoles. Now it's nice that I don't buy a new card, but it sucks that companies aren't innovating technologically and giving me the option for a maximal gaming experience.

179107199999
179107199999

foolish.The potential of the Ps3 and 360 hasn't even been maximized. Not starting a flame war these are my personal observations. Sony and Microsoft tried to cash in on Motion Controls after the Wii outsold them.Most games that come out are shooters action fighters.Games are getting dumbed down for casual gamers which leaves real gamers wanting more.Not many games are finished.Bits of it are DLC so you're not getting a full product.Game companies use reviews to try to hype games and on forums you have something to say against them you get removed.The only real creativity in this current generation is that of companies trying to resale the same things or selling a mediorce product then adding onilne passes which brings me to add they creatively learned how to milik consumers.A lot of consumers are tired of the practices and tired of getting games that are big on graphics less on gameplay.Its been years since I played Star Fox 64 but I played it and still love.Graphics are dated but the story the gameplay and the characters are all still memorable.If limited technology is what is hurting creativity then I grossly disagree.My best friend and me still listen to 8 bit and 16 bit music.We love it because though they lacked technology they made up for it with Innovation.Listen to FF6's field theme or listen to NES Metroid's Tallon theme or the Goonies Nes theme of Cyndi Laupers song Good Enough.If you feel technology is limiting your creativity then that means you're a failure.The most creative thing is the Human Brain.So far not much tech compares with it.And also its funny when tech reaches a limit its often the Human mind that counters that by searching for a way around the problem.Tech doesn't equal creativity it allows us to express more but ultimately its the Human Mind that projects creativity.Tech can only do so much no matter what Generation.Its the people behind the tech that makes magic happen....Like Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes.These systems still have untapped potential.We don't need next gen yet and besides Ubisoft has been failing lately haven't they? That's what happens when you lack creativty and follow trends (DLC,Online Passes)

mtouchprod
mtouchprod

Every time this guy opens his mouth, something stipid comes out. I've never seen such a clueless CEO who nonetheless couldn't stop making public statements. Jesus Christ, hire a PR firm.

DamageIncM
DamageIncM

They complain about the lack of next-gen, yet they're willing to bet in the WiiU (which is only HD NOW, rather than immediately with the Wii)? They should take advantage of what PCs can do then and release simplified versions on consoles for a change, instead of the other way around as they've been doing lately. THAT would make a lot more sense. Also, I see some people saying that lack of next-gen shouldn't hurt creativity, but I can understand if developers want to create a specific thing and need certain technology to do so. Then again, I go back to my previous statement about just using PC-technology then, then adapting it for console-releases if they can't use the exact same technologies. It doesn't mean that they have to abandon the oh so popular consoles, but if it's more features and thus more creative freedom they want, then start developing FOR PC and then adapt to consoles. Cause I think it's time that the PC-platform deserves more positive attention after all these badly ported console-to-PC-titles anyway, which they also dared to charge people money for even though they were broken products. Creatively, game-developers get my respect, but when it comes to the technical part and how they treat their products... no.

SSJMonkey
SSJMonkey

...This guy doesn't actually believe the crap coming out of his mouth, he's just talking BS because its more profitable for Ubisoft to cash in on the excitement of a new console. 6-7 years in, there are sooooo many games already out and floating about at cheap prices, that gamers have a plethora of used games to choose from if a new game doesn't interest you. But when you have a new console there aren't many choices, and so there is a much higher chance that you'll just buy a new game just because it looks better than the other 4 games you have to choose from...

decoy1978
decoy1978

I find that statement misleading... In an era where its harder and harder to tell the difference between real life and video game graphics, we have companies complaining that there is a LACK of creativity.

 

Growing up in the 80's game companies tried to strive for real life graphics and now that we have it.... its almost as if they are saying there's nothing left to strive for.

 

What about gameplay, what about story.. those are the ingredients that drive video games don't they?

CaoSong
CaoSong

Creativity is only limited by those who wont think outside of the box. Indie games are becoming more and more popular because they're not following the masses. I mean look at Minecraft and how it started... there had never been a game like that before, yea the graphics suck, and when it first came out the gameplay wasn't grand, but it was new and was an instant classic.

 

Lack of new consoles have NOTHING to do with creativity, That guy just needs to stop making excuses for why Ubisoft has been struggling to release new hit games.

GetafixOz
GetafixOz

Riiiiight, so its Sony and Microsoft's fault that we have Call of Duty 98 and Medal of Honour 174 is it ? I have been gaming for a good 25 years and posting on forums for much of that. I have been a member here since 2002 and I have to say, thats the lamest argument I have heard in some time and thats saying something when you listen to game developers.

Dragon5-1
Dragon5-1

This makes no sense. Creativity is never limited, the company's urge to do exciting new things in terms of gameplay and story is. Creativity does not equal visual design, although graphics does help sometimes. (Admit it, you would have never touched Shadow of the Collosus if it didn't look that pretty, no matter how good the gameplay turned out).

I understand that the development times mean that you can't START new games for this gen if the next one is around the corner, but that doesn't mean you couldn't plan a new-IP for the end of the generation (Dishonored, anyone?). In fact, doing so is probably a good idea, so that the new IP isn't held down by any faults you create due to unfamiliarity with the new system.

 

Note that I am not a software developer, so I might be completely wrong, but I really don't know how the point of time can restrict new ideas.

Kastigador
Kastigador

False. Creativity is actually at its peak at the end of a console gen. This is when the intangibles like design, creativity, and story diferrentiate a game the most vs. in the beginning when it costs an arm and leg to build all the next gen assets from scratch and therefore is too costly for small devs to compete. They've definitely stretched this generation out beyond its useful life, but PC is always an option if they want to push the envelope technically. As much as I like to see new tech, low risk, all flash and no substance titles are great for big publishers and are a great formula for mediocrity.

orthodox1976
orthodox1976

If he was really that concerned about next-generation technology, he could just make more PC games, LOL. PCs are way more powerful than the consoles out now.

Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

I think its true that new possiblities will let you have more space for creativity, but why do they need new consoles for more creative games, wont they go one like now and just make better looking games, where is the creativity in better graphics. There are more creative games on the wii then on the xbox, that would be impossible if a new console would be needed for more creativity.

If its needed for better physics or more power to display more effects and stuff its not creative anyway. More a logical way to go on in the process of more reality.

Its not the creation of something new. Just like most Games today are only postmodern combinations of Older Games.

Go on with the Wii u and try out new gameplay mechanics combined with the new controllers that are now possible in HD Qualitiy now, Guess the Wii may had more possibilities but not being able to display HD qulitity isnt "creative" enough.

Why should only Nintendo be able to bring out different and new stuff.

They always did and set games on a higeher level of storytelling, gameplay-mechanics, artwork and possibilities. 

Why should people buy new games only on a new console - Guess they want a new console to be able to say hey we have a new game for the new console, its all new and you need to buy it and when you play it, its just like most other games but with new graphics and now should want to get the next one?! 

If Ubi would really need a new console to realise all their creativity it must be the best game ever, best story, char, gameplaymechanics just everything so well made that you will remember every second of the game, let you play it x times and will be a leading mark for all coming games.  And beyond that i want something that freakin out with most complex background storys worlds to explore archithektures, planets, creatures, whatever is possible, combined with new kind of interdimensional travelling, custom ways of playin. Damn there are unendless possibilities that work all on current gen. They will never be able to make a game thats so good and creative.

The World is controlled by fools i am sure some teams would be able to create amazing games, but the bosses want more money at no risk.

Most Games are not creative anyway today, there are to much continued franchises.

Go back to the PC Engine and dont cry for new consoles every 5 years.

Nintendo brought some amazing games this gen, and i am sure they will bring even more amzing games in the next gen. They have well known charakters, thats much better then unsympathic action heroes.

Ubi should create a game as good as Some PS FFs or Some Zeldas, half-life, metroid or mario games - Nobody, wouldnt play it because its not on a new console.

Mincraft sold over 10 M times, and is a better video game then all action/shooter games on ps/xbox. A more professional Mincraft (2) with good looking graphics would sell much better at a higher price too. Minecraft itself has yet x possibilities to be enhanched.

However,

 

 

marz75
marz75

all games are made on pc/360 or 360/pc then ported....so ill say stop making games on the 360 an start making them on the ps3.  stop saying its all console when its just the 360 all by itself.

division_9
division_9

A new console every 5 years sounds awfully like Stalin's 5 year plans. If you remember from history class XD.

 

But seriously maybe being a CEO made you forget Mr. Guillemot, but a console launch at 2010/2011 would've been insane considering that quite a few people on the Planet were feeling the global(ish) recession.

Gusz2
Gusz2

A new console won't help creativity!! the ones that must change are the producers, they don't risk, we, gamers are open to new games, but they don't try, they just make a milking, Need For Speed, COD, AC... The problem is that they want more money everygame, no matter what! See Dead Space, it was a great game, the last one of Survival Horror, and now, it's becoming a mix of Lost Planet with Gears Of War, why? Because it makes more money, not because the players want!

Shame-usBlackley
Shame-usBlackley

Technology allows for more creativity. It's what has driven the industry for decades. Fools who say they want true ten year cycles are either ignorant of history or late adopter idiots typically who want the industry to suffer for their inability/stupidity to not jump in sooner. 

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

So......not relying on new technology hurts the "creativity" of the developers? I don't buy it. If anything, being stuck with old technology will allow developers to say: "Eff making the game look pretty, let's make something awesome.".

aermeus
aermeus

@okassar

I could have went much deeper but didn't want to write a book in a message box.  I think you are looking at my comment to narrowly.  If you want a good read on how investors have influenced game production read http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=128252\

When companies become beholden to shareholders it becomes about the bottom line and how franchises can be exploited.

darksiED70
darksiED70

Zombiu looks stuupid. If the wiiu is over $200, it wont sell.

Maizel
Maizel

It's not about the consoles. It's just that there is almost 0 creativity from the big game devs.It's always the same games, Cod, mass Effect, Assassin's creed,  gears of war, and all that junk.Good games,  but after so many sequals it starts to go stale really, really fast.The current aging consoles is not what keeps creativity back. I can do without Modern Warfare 10 on the Xbox 3,  because I;pm pretty sure it's going to be essentially the same game,  with prettier graphics. Gameplay development  seems  to have ground to a halt in the past few years.  

rarson
rarson

It's part of the hidden cost of trying to design consoles that last 10 years. People just get bored with the same old thing after a while. The 5-year cycle was always pretty nice because after about 5 years, you'd be ready for something new (and maybe you couldn't afford it, so you'd wait an extra year or so for a price drop), and the whole process of speculating, seeing new hardware launch, and watching the competition was part of the fun.

 

Now we have Microsoft and Sony vainly trying to cling to their old consoles because they were banking on getting a few more years out of them, with everyone else thinking "when will we see something new?" and developers thinking "do we risk putting a lot of effort into a current-gen title which won't sell as well when the new consoles might be coming out soon?"

 

SNES, N64, and even Gamecube had some great titles come out near the end of their cycles. And NES probably did, too, but I honestly can't remember the timing of the end of that cycle because it was a long time ago and I was far too busy dreaming about the SNES to really pay attention (and I was also a child with no money). And no doubt, the 360 and PS3 will have a few more gems before they bow out, but it's hard to get recognition these days with the sheer glut of similar titles available for the systems. Everything seems like it has been done before, a lot. And as I mentioned before, developers are taking a financial risk by developing so late in the cycle.

 

Honestly, I think Nintendo's timing is almost perfect, although had they been able to launch the Wii U last year, it would have been even better. 7+ years is too long for a console to last without new hardware, and it's obvious that the strategy didn't make the best financial sense (all that time that they were losing money on hardware, they could have been making money on it by just making the hardware a bit cheaper).

Savoritias
Savoritias

It is hurting crativity like when you trick the consumers to buy the game and you have cut the story in 5-6 pieces to sell seperately? 

moviequest14
moviequest14

The difference between last gen and this gen was massive. But I don't think anyone thinking logically would guess this-to-next gen leap will be anywhere NEARLY as close. Overall we'll probably just see tweaks and fixed , maybe a couple more plants on the ground or more realistic splashed when you walk in water , but certainly no game would exclusively need leaves moving exactly where your foot is or extra grime on guns to make a new game.... saying more powerful hardware (now a days) will bring more creativity with games is like saying a new projection screen in a theater will bring more unique movies. Pretty much any idea for a game possible can be done in some sort on modern hardware. Minor advancements aren't going to create new game ideas.

hadlee73
hadlee73

"...but it's important for the entire industry to have new consoles because it helps creativity." You don't need an advancement in graphical and processing power to influence creativity. You just have to be more creative!

awesomejaime
awesomejaime

Is this guy for real? If he lacks creativity for past and present technologies, he may as well retire and give way to real creative people.

rxanp
rxanp

@179107199999Brother, I registered with Gamespot for the sole purpose of agreeing with you... I wish people like you could be heard... Its all about HD and flashy explosions with people these days... Although, I must confess that my gaming experiences do not go as far as Starfox... Say about as early as Oddworld's first title... I used to have faith in Ubisoft; BG&E, PoP... And more recently ACB, touched me... ACR is where I started worrying, and AC3 was disastrous in terms of story and characters... Like you said, they're cashing in... Big fat men in suits come and push proper dev ideas down the stairs, instead taking advice from hollywood rejects...

Peace Friend.

mtouchprod
mtouchprod

And by the way, he's accusing his OWN company of lackiing creativity, among others.

Alucard_Prime
Alucard_Prime

 @Dragon5-1 Agreed, and Dishonored is a great example. Another exec interview that I completely disagree with. Then again it's no surprise that I don't have any Ubisoft games in my collection either, except for that  last SC game.

 

You have a gigantic  established user base right now. Put out some garbage, and you have a great shot of making your money back with the sheer number of people who will try it out anyways. I think this is a superb time for new IPs. 

RevLux
RevLux

 @Lykanthropie

 I think what he was saying is that releasing creative new ips is much less risky on new hardware b/c customers are much more apt to try new things. The more risky something is the less likely a dev will put the money into creating it.

Magician679
Magician679

 @marz75

 Maybe just go back to making everything for the PC, then porting them for the consoles. It is easier to knock down the stting for a console port than to add hi-res textures and lighting ect. to a 360 port. Also the Pc is making a big come back in the gaming biz due to the price of hardware coming way down.

fetusfart18
fetusfart18

 @marz75 "all games are made on pc/360 or 360/pc then ported"That statement is so painfully untrue.

johnesparzarn
johnesparzarn

 @Gusz2 "because it makes more money, not because the players want!"- The only way a game can make money is if people buy it meaning they want it.  Whether you or I want it is irrelavent if more people buy it.  I agree with you on Dead Space.  I LOVED that game!! (though, I could only play it an hour at a time because it was so wonderfully suspenseful!), but as much as I would want the sequels to be like the first, I can't fault the developers for making changes if it brings more sales.  

rarson
rarson

 @aermeus 

 

I take issue with the "companies beholden to shareholders" argument. ALL companies produce goods or services in order to generate profit. Whether there are shareholders involved or not, profit is still the motivation. And the only way to increase profits is to cater to your customers, providing the products that they want. Unless, of course, you're colluding with government through "lobbying" and kickbacks and using regulation as barriers to entry.

 

Complain all you want about companies that churn out endless franchise games, but the fact is that they're producing them because their customers are buying them. Stop buying them. Then they'll stop making them. Guitar Hero?

rarson
rarson

 @Maizel 

 

Does anyone bother to read the article, or do they all just read the headline and then post a comment, like you did?

 

"The current aging consoles is not what keeps creativity back."

 

That's not what he said at all. Try reading the article.

conspirethis
conspirethis

 @moviequest14 New hardware doesn't just mean pretty eye candy. It means brute dynamic physics, cunning A.I, huge amounts of said A.I on screen at once, and all of the above.

rarson
rarson

 @moviequest14 

 

It's funny, because the rumored specs actually place Nintendo's Wii U ahead of Microsoft's next Xbox, and while that sounds completely wrong at first, it does kind of make some sense.

 

Consider the fact that Microsoft is likely to be bundling Kinect 2 with every Xbox. This makes sense, because they have spent so much time and energy (and money) pushing Kinect. They want you to use it. They want developers to use it. The only way they can make sure that will happen is if they include one with every Xbox.

 

Consider also the fact that the economy is depressed. Gamers cannot afford to buy $500 consoles. Right now, I think the mass market price is $300, which is where I expect Nintendo to be. I would expect Kinect 2 to cost somewhere around the same as the Wii U Gamepad, maybe a little more if they're using high-fidelity sensors. That could be why they're using such a modest GPU, if they're really trying to compete pricewise with Nintendo (which would actually be a brilliant move for their Xbox brand business).

 

Also, the big thing to keep in mind is that a $400 console just isn't going to look drastically better than a $300 console. Until 4K displays become cheap enough that everyone owns one, bumping up the graphical power isn't going to produce drastic improvements. From a technological standpoint, now is the perfect time to lower the price of ownership to increase the installed user base.

sharpnickelz
sharpnickelz

 @moviequest14 I hear that the Kinect concept will be expanded with the next Xbox console, and I am assuming some kind of similar (and novel) design will be coming from Sony as well.  Don't they understand that gamers don't really care for all these gimmicky peripherals and interaction with games?  It works on Android phones, iPhones and handheld consoles for a quick enjoyment, but for big production gaming, for hardcore gaming...it doesn't sit well with me.  Imagine trying to have an extended BF3 gaming session using the Kinect...oh...wait...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_ESK0q0Dpg

tomaztomaz
tomaztomaz

 @awesomejaime you stupid, he's talking about a visual progress, better graphics not about ideas for new games. learn the difference

Kastigador
Kastigador

 @RevLux  @Lykanthropie

That's partly true, but you better believe the first round of major games to come out on a new console are 95% established IP's. I think this is mostly an excuse to externalize the current challenges of big devs because the market has recently peaked for console gaming. In business, if the market isn't growing, it's dying and your shareholders treat your stock accordingly.

Gusz2
Gusz2

 @johnesparzarn  @Gusz2 this is true, and obvious, to make money the gamers got to buy the games. about being relevant, it's relevant what we want, because if you don't like or want something you simply won't buy it. About Dead Space, for me it's some kind of last breath of the Survival Horrors, Just beautiful, nothing else to say, I totally with you. Maybe this's not fault of the producers, but it's fault of the enterprise. 

conspirethis
conspirethis

 @rarson It won't make drastic differences? I can go from BF3 360 to BF3 PC and it's already drastic.

rarson
rarson

 @moviequest14 

 

"I would expect Kinect 2 to cost somewhere around the same as the Wii U Gamepad"

 

I'm talking about bill of materials here, not actual MSRP. I would expect the MSRP of Kinect 2 to be higher than that of the Wii U Gamepad.

rarson
rarson

 @tomaztomaz 

 

You're stupid. He's not talking about better graphics at all, he's talking about THE TIMING OF A CONSOLE'S RELEASE. It has NOTHING to do with graphics.

 

Idiot gamers think "next-generation" means "vastly improved graphics"... morons!

BlueTurtz
BlueTurtz

 @conspirethis  @rarson but thats one game, i know bf3 is a MUCH better game on pc, but most developers tailor their games for the consoles then port to pc, so hopefully next gen will fully utilize the capabilities to make it a better experience overall, not just graphics wise. Like playing on 64 man servers on bf3 and 60+ fps compared to 30 fps and 24 man servers on consoles