Ubisoft gets casual

French publisher expands casual-game market presence with new My Coach series; more Petz titles to come.

France-based publisher Ubisoft has announced it will be making a bigger push into the casual gaming space, starting with a new series of games on Nintendo platforms. In a statement, the company said it has made "significant investments" in the area, and has overhauled its internal development structure to dedicate resources to the genre.

It also announced a new series titled My Coach, described as "allowing players to improve themselves and learn in an interactive and stimulating way." The first two titles in the My Coach series will be My Word Coach and My Life Coach. My Word Coach will be available in "fall 2007" on the Wii and DS, and the aim of the game is to improve verbal communication and vocabulary; it will have both single and multiplayer modes. My Life Coach is coming exclusively to the DS for "Christmas 2007" and will be an electronic personal coach for "anybody concerned about their well being" to help with willpower in changing bad habits.

The new casual games division will be headed up by Pauline Jacquey, who joined Ubisoft in 1998 and has worked as a producer on a variety of game series, including Rayman and Tom Clancy Ghost Recon. Ubisoft's CEO, Yves Guillemot, commented, "The timing is right for us to leverage our creativity and to open up the video games market to new consumers who will be attracted by content that can help them learn, grow and feel better in an entertaining way."

Ubisoft also announced it is preparing new installments in the Petz virtual animal care series. However, it did not announce any specific new titles.

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Discussion

52 comments
sphinx-shadow
sphinx-shadow

i can all ways count there to be games on the DS that won't make me dumb.

theKSMM
theKSMM

I wonder what the distribution channels for these games will be--online? in-store? non-traditional retail outlets?

muhcashin
muhcashin

The "casual" term is to explain the skepticism and unfounded disgust that most "non-casual" or "hardcore Gamespot-visiting" gamers have for anything different. Just look at the comments, 80% of them bash it, hate it and dismiss it as being trash destined to the bargain bins. There's more to video games than SWAT teams and acrobatic dagger-swinging murderers. There are too many war/swat/police/vigilante/spy/Tom Clancy/Counter-Strike-ish games out there. I don't see anyone complaining about companies jumping on the violence bandwagon. What's so wrong about the self-improvement and learning bandwagon? Has it ever occured to anyone that not everyone wants to spend their spare time shooting terrorists? Granted, I must admit My Word Coach is a horrible name for a spelling game.

Supermanunbound
Supermanunbound

Why don't they just make a "My game developer's Coach" and start hiring people with some real ideas. I can't complain. If they keep making dynamite hits like Rainbow Six Vegas I'll keep buying them.

Pedro7_2000
Pedro7_2000

NOOOOOO!!!! I can't have my beloved Ubisoft fall into the trap of pet sims. Those pet sims always make a ton of dough, but come on...you gotta have a little self respect. I guess they figure they've make enough shooters to off set any flakiness brought on by the sims.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

Scammeleon - Well at least it's not AS disengenuous as their long-lasting attempt to ape Nintendogs. The Petz series is trash, really, and has nothing on the original game that it's trying to rip off. As for the training games, however, have any of the other ones really done anywhere near as well as Brain Age?

Scammeleon
Scammeleon

Does anyone else feel that this trend of "training" games has gone on for a bit too long? One can't help but feel that Ubisoft is just leaping on the increasingly crowded band-wagon, and sooner or later someone's gonna fall off, or the whole thing will collapse, leaving scattered fragments of tuition in its wake...

smoothn00dle
smoothn00dle

CopyCat.. EA, Activision and UBisoft are not good at Nintendo's world, just look at SNES era. They do well now cause of looks - 3DDDD... but the new rulez is Gameplay. When come to Gameplay Nintendo first party developer eat them for breakfast *v* 2D platform is back!

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

As long as Ubisoft continues to make the great games they're known for, whatever. Though I must ask why these are called "casual." That word implies that these games are made to sell huge amounts of copies. However, they rarely, if ever, make the top ten game releases. These games aren't designed for mass-market penetration; they're designed to be quick, cheap revenue.

Alucard7321
Alucard7321

Life Coaching: Scientology that fits in your Pocket!

-Trob-
-Trob-

I hope that someone realizes that not all casual gamers will buy a game just 'cause it has words like "Training" or "Coach" in the name. I don't understand why games like that are apparently what you make for casual gamers if you're a gaming company, but apparently that's what they think.

the-very-best
the-very-best

Er...OK, but please continue the great series like R6 and GRAW on the PS3/360, and make sure Assassin's Creed is good.

Evilsmiler
Evilsmiler

wow!!.....or how about ' my better game developers coach'?. Yeah ubisoft your idea is sooo good and i think about how many other great games you already made for nintendo so far....oh was i being too sarcastic sorry!

kyo_tetsuei
kyo_tetsuei

You know, looking at some of the comments to this article, it would seem that the need for a game like this is fairly dire, so more power to them. Let's hope it's got bargain pricing so there's even less of an excuse.

Platyphyllum
Platyphyllum

I want them to release a "My French Coach". That way I can ace every single French test I get at school ^_^

Pete5506
Pete5506

Well where ever the money is

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

I haven't seen this many education titles since the the glory of the PC days.

Funkyhamster
Funkyhamster

Good for them... they finally realized where the money's at (for now).

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

I don't see why this is such a bad thing. So long as they keep making AAA games like Rainbow Six (among others), a little diversification will only help them. The more money they make, the higher the budget for the next set of Clancy games or Assassin's Creed or Call Of Juarez or whatever.

Jim_bo_bo
Jim_bo_bo

Wow. Sounds really stupid to me... but you never know... maybe it'll work out.

yukine
yukine

Wow, very interesting. These are very Japan-like DS games, I wonder if we'll start seeing cooking guides and such for the DS as well?

Shad_Zero
Shad_Zero

we will see the results...Good or Bad????

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

I huess we'll see. It doesn't sound good but Ubisoft is.

blueflamedino
blueflamedino

casual? just make solitaire, spider solitaire, hearts, checkers, minesweeper, free cell, and maybe chess all in a cartridge and surely enough people will by that, now get back to Splinter cell conviction and Assassin's Creed, TMNT was horribble and if Splinter cell comes out the same way, I gonna be mad

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

As long as they will make assassins creed a game of the year candidate and keep making Tom Clancy games they can make whatever else they want

Hott-FuzZ
Hott-FuzZ

why is everyone cussing out ubisoft, have all you idiots forgot how many amazing games theyve come out with. Assasins creed, call of jaurez, and splinter cell: conviction, ringing any bells? You dont like there new casual gaming ideas, dont buy them.

Slash_out
Slash_out

A few weeks ago everyone was praising Ubi, and now everyone is cussing at it. Man... how people opinion can just change like that.

go_commando_92
go_commando_92

Is it only me that think ubisoft rule assasins creed anyone splinter cell was good before they streched it out XIII (it was the cell shaded shooter) was awesome oblivion was produced by ubisoft seriously every one of those games rocked

KamaKase
KamaKase

All will be forgiven with a sequel to BG&E.

EddyG0RD0
EddyG0RD0

i said its official UBISOFT has gone : suck

racerx737
racerx737

i guess this is good to get more people into gaming

WingZero6655
WingZero6655

bad_boy get a clue and take a few accounting or business classes, but that might be too "mainstream" for you

bad_boy_sam123
bad_boy_sam123

as you can see. it's all about money these days. make a game for the most popular and cheapest-to-produce-for consoles (Wii and DS) and forget about what made their company so great. Its as bad as seeing your favourite music artist go mainstream. :(

EddyG0RD0
EddyG0RD0

Its official , UBISOFT has started to suck even more.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

On IGN.com they have a detailed report on Wordcoach. It sounds fantastic and will be very welcome in my house. These sort of games will really help my daughter in school. I love what is happening with the games industry. It is becoming broader and more accessable to everyone. Soon the hardcore will be nothing but a sad memory lol.

Supernova_86
Supernova_86

Casual games being made for inexpensive gaming units aimed at casual gamers or even non-gamers? Sounds good to me. We need more people into the gaming population to really make this industry expand, and it looks like Nintendo and Ubisoft are doing good jobs at that. Look how great the DS is selling in Japan.

DonutTrooper
DonutTrooper

A french company teaching english skills....TT you were right, too much irony.

Kurtz1
Kurtz1

They have to make it into a game format, no one can read a book.

Santas_Hitman
Santas_Hitman

Oh goody, its like self help books but in game form! Yay! And they are probably just as useless as the books to!

diablobasher
diablobasher

TTDog: Do you not see the irony in the fact that the game isn't aimed at people who play games all day? Yet you assumed it was. No? Good, because it's not ironic. This is a good thing, although im not keen on the wordcoach thing, and i dont need a life coach, these are things that will help people to understand games better, and hopefully, get a better grasp of the english language.

Hedfix
Hedfix

Yeah, you're the only one...