When we think of Ubisoft as a video game developer and publisher, we think of some of the biggest franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, ...
When we think of Ubisoft as a video game developer and publisher, we think of some of the biggest franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, and Far Cry. There’s one common strand between all these titles, and that is a vast, sweeping open-world, a feature that has more or less become a trademark for Ubisoft.
According to an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, affable Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explains that the company is all too aware of the draw of open-world titles and it has no plans to deviate from that well-trodden path moving forward. If anything, we can expect Ubisoft’s open-world titles to expand in terms of their breadth.
And, we don’t have to look too far into the future to see how Ubisoft continues to plunder that lucrative open-world formula.
Watch Dogs Legion hits stores early next year with a massive recreation of a post-Brexit London plunged into turmoil by the opposing forces of an oppressive surveillance state and an increasingly agitated populace. Ubisoft-developed Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, due in October, taps into the open-world setting defined successfully in the franchise’s previous entry, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands.
Asked whether the model was sustainable, Guillemot is quoted in GamesIndustry.biz as saying,
“It is sustainable, because the world is big and the number of players that can play our games is immense. What we’ve seen in the last few years is the number of players that play our games is constantly growing. New markets are opening up and games live a lot longer than before. So at the moment we see that we can continue to increase the investments because we know we can have a return on investment that can be quite long.”
Guillemot says that these open-worlds are all about versatility. They cater for all types of players from those who want a contained sub-20-hour narrative experience to those eager to immerse themselves entirely in a game’s universe by exploring every nook and cranny for a hundred hours or more.
Some would say Ubisoft’s recent efforts are bloated with superfluous content; regardless it’s clear the company has tapped into a formula that keeps players interested.
Allied to that sustained player interest is a well-oiled and uncommonly well-received monetization system that packs successive titles with well-received post-launch content ranging from expansions, classic cosmetic DLC, and experience/gear boosters.
A case in point is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s excellent The Fate of Atlantis expansion. It introduces a brand new open-expanse to explore as well as diving further into Odyssey’s alternative take on classical mythology, a facet that contributed significantly to the base game’s success. In other words, an even larger open-world to explore.
With a steady stream of income bolstering teams hard at work expanding these expansive open-worlds, Ubisoft games should continue to get much, much bigger moving forward.