Ubisoft Making More Open-World Games Because "Gamers Want More Freedom"

CEO Yves Guillemot says gamers also want games they can spend more time with.

by

In a new interview, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explains why the Assassin's Creed and Far Cry publisher is focusing so much on open-world games. Speaking with CVG, Guillemot says Ubisoft games like Watch Dogs, The Crew, Far Cry 4, or The Division are appealing to gamers because they allow players a more free-form experience instead of a linear and directed one.

"We think that gamers want more freedom," Guillemot said. "They also want games that they can play for quite a while, because there are less games now. The open-world genre gives us the possibility to offer different gamers different types of experiences. We think they are better adapted to the diversity of gamers that are in the market at the moment."

Guillemot went on to say that the open-world trend in games today is likely to continue. "It's a trend for the industry; there will be more and more open-world games because gamers buy those games more than the others," he said.

Last summer, Ubisoft said it planned to release open-world games "on a regular basis." The company also contends that it has a "unique capacity" to do so because of its strong network of collaborative studios. Marquee Ubisoft titles are often developed across a network of studios; Assassin's Creed Unity, for example, is being made by ten different development teams.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

87 comments
HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

Too bad Ubisoft games all play the same.

Shawcross
Shawcross

Since the Watch_Dogs deal I won't be buying any more of Ubisofts games for a while till they fix it. Shunning the PC market is just dumb so no point in giving them money or having to use that stupid UPlay feature of theirs. 

DariusMKN
DariusMKN

I always liked the open world style. In my opinion this is where the games of the current generation can really shine. Make the player feel inserted in the world and offer many options for progression and discovery. In my opinion, this is more important than spectacular graphics. However, a game that has an open world can also have levels with linear progression and still be awesome. An example is Lego Marvel. That game is really amazing.

Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

I feel that there's a sick obsession with open worlds lately and quite frankly I'm tired of it.What's the point of an open world if the story is sh1t or if there isn't anything interesting to do in that open world?

I has come to the point where reviewers slam a game for being linear.What the hell is wrong with linear ? This is ridiculous.Some of the most fun games I've played were linear.If you like exploration how about trying real life instead ? I don't get a thrill out of exploring some digitally generated forests where nothing interesting happens.

This open world cr@p is getting out of hand and it needs to stop !

themc_7
themc_7

I loved the open world of FC3, and 4 is only gonna get bigger and better! I'm really enjoying watch dogs(however the map is a bit small. You can drive from corner to corner in about 5 minutes). I feel as though Chicago(in game) should be bigger. It is after all #3 on America's largest cities

SSEEXX
SSEEXX

(This comment it only reflects my own opinion as a gamer)

,

When it comes to open world i see the RPG Age of conan is very good example for me what's the point of giving me a big map just for collecting some bullshits you could just leave it to 

7 years old kid will do the job:)

i'm not against this genre of games, it's truly fun but needs so many gameplay ideas, more semi-realistic freedom,countless mission types ,something interesting to do, not just walk down the streets and kill people and play chasing game with police

personally i prefer developers who make me feel completely lost with no help and letting me to think how to get out,survive or whatever with many environment options is far better for me than your big useless open city.


Some companies should take a lesson from Naughty dog in terms of gameplay, they always delivers an amazing different experience,magnificent stories,endless immersion moments which pulls the player into another world

open world doesn't makes the games any better, if the gameplay or storyline is poor and boring.

finally just imagine with me if Naughty Dog entered the open world games!, what will they going to do? i bet they will create an unbeatable game and it will be titled as the game of era, not only the Game of the Year.


My suggestion to ubisoft

Splinter cell was your best game, to be honest it's your best shot,

why don't you create a new open world for Sam fisher and let him back to the old competition with Snake? :) IF you DARE !


Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Depends on the game i fyou ask me; You don't HAVE to do something just because you can.

pyosisified
pyosisified

Open world games are becoming so meh, I really like the idea of being given freedom in a large open world but if the games are as lifeless as a dead fly that's pretty much redundant, every single Ubisoft open-world game feels like plastic. I believe this surge in open world games shows developers lack of competence, inspiration and cleverness to create level-based games with clever, non-linear level design like Doom 1, 2 and Heretic. Pick your poison, overly linear, casual, railway-like clones OR casual, stale, lifeless open world clones.

cynicritic
cynicritic

I favour open World of course but Developers really need to innovate them. It's all the same pointless collecting and glitch-ridden expanses too large to manage. Look at FC3. That game was too big to even run on consoles without constant screen tear. And what was the point? The second island was empty garbage. The first was all that was required. All that time and energy on the second island could have been used in polishing the first.

TES is true open World. Just a shame Bugthesda are incompetent when it comes to testing. 

Mario_Bones
Mario_Bones

*because they can stick to their standard formula

Bleedingeejit
Bleedingeejit

I'd take a great linear game like metro 2033\last light or outlast that tell a great structured story in a very detailed environment over the same old massive sprawling world's with loads of busy work to do...

Clear the enemy strongpoints,

Collect these random feathers\letters

Checkpoint race etc.

Climb to this tower\church spire\ctos tower to see more of the map and rinse and repeat.

Getting boring now

cirugo
cirugo

"open-world" is the new "always-online" which was the new DRM.

they don't abandon their BS...they just try to re-brand it.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

We definitely want freedom.  From you.  And EA.  And Activision.


The whole damn industry wants that.



hikaruai
hikaruai

Lets be real, its cus GTA makes so much money and they're trying to cash-in on biting the trend

chieflion
chieflion

what i hate is how they expand the map and make you wonder outside all your life. 


Skyrim rules in this regard. Literally every building is enterable, people are living lives, you are part of a world that has weight and the world gives you meaning.

Watchdogs is disappointing to me in this way, i really thought there would be way more enterable buldings (theres totally more then gta 5 which was another huge disappointment) but despite the amount, it just feels like the world exists for you, more then you exist to explore the world.  Thats something Ubisoft needs to work on.

hystavito
hystavito

What bugs me about many open world games is that they mainly offer freedom in movement around the world, but little else.  Hey create a diversion to keep the police occupied, OK, I'm gonna cause trouble, explosions maybe, oh nope, I gotta drive this car through these checkpoints :).


Rather than give us a general goal/objective and set us free to achieve it however we choose, they give us missions that have to be played out in a quite specific way.  Often that way is simply the same old gameplay subsection from other games, like a checkpoint race for example, and they shove that into the current game's setting.


Oh, I had to rewrite this comment because I originally used the word bl0w, sigh, getting tired of this ridiculous word filtering.

shahdeewasahoe
shahdeewasahoe

Oh just shut up Ubisoft. That's what the gamers actually want.

cynicritic
cynicritic

These days if a game opts for linear gameplay then it had bloody better have an amazing story that is worthy of being told.

Metro 2033 is a fine example of the rare case when a linear game deserves to exist.


veryDERPY
veryDERPY

just dont half ass major parts of them game and turn it into an AVERAGE game. look at watch dogs. driving, mini games, hacking, AIDEN himself.


neither of those things were really all that good so the entire experience becomes rather bland. hell i STILL don't care for aiden's mission nor what happened to him. zzzzz

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

A good game is a good game whether its open world or not.There are bad open world games too.

blackbetty1974
blackbetty1974

Ubisoft does beautiful open world games with activities all over the map. The problem is that they are the same 5 activities copied and pasted ad nauseam. 

itruecolors
itruecolors

Open World games can be great like RDR, GTA V, Arkham City or they mundane like Watch Dogs and, in my opinion, Assassins Creed

BigBossWato
BigBossWato

I enjoy open world games tremendously, because of the freedom of exploration. That is why I am super excited for MGS5 Phantom Pain, because it takes the freedom of open world and smashes into my favorite of all time and makes them one, 1984 can get here soon enough.  

Mkeegs79
Mkeegs79

As a gamer, I don't care if they are open world are not. I just want a damn good game.

nitro73
nitro73

You can't argue with the reasoning. It appears more games are going towards the sandbox premise, although it isn't necessary for a great game. I want to see more on The Division and The Crew though.

jako998
jako998

Open world games are more needed, yes but they need to be Done right... For instance a Open world game done right IMO was Skyrim and GTA 5.  I would say watch dogs but it felt to Repetitive to me... idk why it just did


I think the next big and good Open world will be Dragon age that comes out this year.

dmdavenport
dmdavenport

Open world games often tout their ability to mimic a day-night time lapse, yet oddly, the character you play never changes. Months can pass and your (male) character never shaves, never showers, never uses the bathroom. Realistically speaking, by the end of the game he must be one hairy, stinky and constipated guy. 

cboye18
cboye18

Only thing is, you have to do it right. Watch Dogs felt so repetitive and the protagonist was so boring I stopped playing halfway through. That was definitely $60 wasted.

frozenuxx
frozenuxx

I just want freedom from Uplay...

Carton_of_milk
Carton_of_milk

Aside from I think Hitman Absolution, I haven't played a non open world game in like 5 years probably. I can't do linear games anymore. If I look back to my 80's and 90's gaming years, even then my favorite games tended to be open world. Ultima VII, Wing COmmander Privateer, Ocarina of time, etc. Even a game like River City ransom was fairly open world.


As for story, ^$&* story, open world sandbox games are making your own, use your imagination maybe?


I mean I played minecraft for months on end. No story whatsoever in that game.  The less the story gets in the way of what I want to do the better. I'm not saying it shouldn't be there because yes, it would get boring in a game like WD or GTA if there was no story, but I'm more interested in just good gameplay that makes the missions dynamic. All im asking of a story in a game is that it makes me care somewhat about my character and keep me engaged just enough that I want to do the next main storyline mission (I'm looking at you Far Cry 3...I pretty much tried not to think about the story or my character at all playing this game...or going way way back but anyone remembers True Crime Streets of LA? I think that wins for most unlikable obnoxious main character in an open world video game). When I want story I watch films or read a book.


I don't know why people bitch about the Watch Dogs story. It was serviceable and better than most open world games of the genre (GTA IV, Just Cause 2, Saboteur, Saint's row 3, you name them) and it made me like the character just fine. So it didn't have some incredible twist or dig deep into Pearce's psyche. So what, it was a fine by the book revenge story. Those are always good.



I have high hopes for The Crew considering the Test Drive Unlimited franchise died with the awful piece of crap tht was TDU 2.

LucentWolf
LucentWolf

In general really I'm liking the direction gaming is going. Sure there are a few aspects I'm not fond of, but truthfully It's been a while since I've been so excited for so many games in a year.

TheLazyClown
TheLazyClown

No. It's because they have better story and because it's superior to shooters and have more replay value. Open World is one of the most superior genre of gaming.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Warlord_Irochi Yeah, just because open-world is appealing doesn't mean that anything else is appalling.

xxmavr1kxx
xxmavr1kxx

@chieflion  I agree. What you said is what i have been wanting. OPEN WORLD GAMES ARE NOT OPEN IF I CAN"T ACCESS ANY BUILDING I WANT.


Skyrim does it great, and so Does the WItcher.



legendofzub
legendofzub

@cynicritic The problem with this idea is that most open world games are just linear games disguised with a big map that you can wander around in until you feel like actually doing the linear quest line.

blackbetty1974
blackbetty1974

@dmdavenport The last time I played Skyrim, I played without fast travel, sought shelter or a camp every night, slept for 8 hours, and ate 3 meals a day. I also aged my character and changed their appearance periodically. It was a lot more fun than you would think. No pooping though.

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

@dmdavenport  Do you really want a game that makes you do those tedious things, the gameplay would be way to boring.

blackbetty1974
blackbetty1974

@cboye18 Having such large and open environment just felt like a waste. There was really nothing to discover. Just a bunch of repetitive activities. Bethesda nailed it with the Elder Scrolls and Fallout games. You could play those games for hundreds of hours, and always be discovering something new.

legendofzub
legendofzub

@xxmavr1kxx @chieflion Yeah, but there SHOULD be some consequence to just waltzing into someone's house in the middle of the day.  Especially in games set in modern times.

hystavito
hystavito

@legendofzub @hystavito Skyrim was pretty cool for that kinda thing, like how you could happen to have done something before you got the quest and it still worked when you later meet the quest giver.  Well mostly worked :), I did end up with some minor bugged quests that could not be completed.

Quietstorm1988
Quietstorm1988

@mkeezay22 @dmdavenport  @mkeezay22 @dmdavenport I wouldnt want these things to be mandatory.... 20 minutes of gameplay with lots of grunting, some leaves / pine needles and a pinecone to pinch a loaf. But i think it would be neat to make Your character gets a little heavier the more he eats w/o staying in a town with suitable facilities, gets dirty, becomes bearded unless he visits a barber. Would just be interesting to see a character in an open environment for months on end have some sort of development because of this. 

rorytmeadows
rorytmeadows

@mkeezay22 @dmdavenport An open-world game will never be realistic enough if it doesn't let me make Ramen noodles and spend 35 minutes looking on Redtube for a video that allows me to toss off in 3.