Ubisoft to Apply Assassin's Creed Development Model to Other Franchises

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Posted by patrickklepek (3478 posts) -

Few could have anticipated Assassin's Creed would have been such a blockbuster right out of the gate, but Ubisoft found itself with a major hit. Since then, Ubisoft has refined Assassin's Creed into an annual, Call of Duty-esque franchise. In 2009, there was Assassins' Creed II. In 2010, there was Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. And later this year, Ubisoft will finish Ezio's story with Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

"What is impressive with the release year after year of Assassin's Creed is our ability to deliver every time with a high level of innovation and creativity in a large and very diverse open world," boasted Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot on Ubisoft's fiscal year results call with investors today. "There is no other open world console game that is coming on a yearly basis. This is achieved through great execution by providing more resources and by putting in place a very compelling network of leads and associate studios."

At this point, the annual development of Assassin's Creed games has not just become a model for the Assassin's Creed franchise but a model that the publisher intends to apply across several franchises.

"We are applying the very [same] product template to our other strong franchises to bring them back to Assassin's Creed blockbuster profitable status," said Guillemot.

Concerns have been raised, starting with Brotherhood, that Ubisoft's approach would dilute the Assassin's Creed franchise, but the near-universal praise for Brotherhood means...well, maybe they can pull it off. We'll be getting our first look at Revelations in just a few weeks. Can Ubisoft do it again?

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (3478 posts) -

Few could have anticipated Assassin's Creed would have been such a blockbuster right out of the gate, but Ubisoft found itself with a major hit. Since then, Ubisoft has refined Assassin's Creed into an annual, Call of Duty-esque franchise. In 2009, there was Assassins' Creed II. In 2010, there was Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. And later this year, Ubisoft will finish Ezio's story with Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

"What is impressive with the release year after year of Assassin's Creed is our ability to deliver every time with a high level of innovation and creativity in a large and very diverse open world," boasted Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot on Ubisoft's fiscal year results call with investors today. "There is no other open world console game that is coming on a yearly basis. This is achieved through great execution by providing more resources and by putting in place a very compelling network of leads and associate studios."

At this point, the annual development of Assassin's Creed games has not just become a model for the Assassin's Creed franchise but a model that the publisher intends to apply across several franchises.

"We are applying the very [same] product template to our other strong franchises to bring them back to Assassin's Creed blockbuster profitable status," said Guillemot.

Concerns have been raised, starting with Brotherhood, that Ubisoft's approach would dilute the Assassin's Creed franchise, but the near-universal praise for Brotherhood means...well, maybe they can pull it off. We'll be getting our first look at Revelations in just a few weeks. Can Ubisoft do it again?

Staff
#2 Posted by SteamBox (28 posts) -

Interesting...


#3 Edited by TheHT (10890 posts) -

here's hoping they don't get tired and repetitive, not that the assassin's creed games are.

#4 Posted by Daiphyer (1308 posts) -

I don't think more bombs is what I wanted out of the series. Traps neither. I never used the bombs in Brotherhood, I just thought they slowed down the pace of the game.

#5 Posted by craigbo180 (1739 posts) -

Ubisoft has other strong franchises?

#6 Edited by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

If you put 500 people on Beyond Good & Evil 2 like you did with AC I will be very happy. I'm not buying any more Ubisoft games until they finish BG&E 2.

#7 Posted by Darth_Furder (31 posts) -
@SteamBox
Interesting...

Indeed...
#8 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

So more milan north in the future. Could be good if they have any franchises worth annualizing

#10 Posted by Branthog (7342 posts) -

Why let a story take its course and then end, when you can milk it indefinitely, until it is a decayed dried corpse on the side of the road and the mention of it just makes people grumble and sigh?

It was supposed to be a trilogy. It should have been a trilogy. Then they should have moved the fuck on.

#11 Posted by skudfisher (62 posts) -

This model certainly worked for Guitar Hero...

#12 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

i have faith in Ubosift when it comes to AC

#13 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -
@craigbo180 said:
" Ubisoft has other strong franchises? "
#14 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

What else do they have? Prince of Persia? Might and Magic? Those are never going to be major IPs again, if they ever were. The quality of the games has been too inconsistent. AC sells well because there's never been a bad AC game, even if AC1 sucks by modern standards.

#15 Posted by Gumby (229 posts) -

 "What is impressive with the release year after year of Assassin's Creed is our ability to deliver every time with a high level of innovation and creativity in a large and very diverse open world.

Not really...? The series didn't evolve that much from AC2 to Brotherhood. If THEY think that it did, I worry for the future of the franchise... I hope AC doesn't turn into the next COD.
#16 Posted by Zripwud (246 posts) -

I think it was the other way around. We were all hyped about the first AC, and it was a tremendously disappointing game. The second one was what the first one was supposed to be.

#17 Posted by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

Uggg... Ubisoft no thanks.

#18 Posted by ParaParaKing (104 posts) -

I'm not sure how putting all your studios behind one franchise can work with multiple franchises, but maybe Ubisoft has a plan.

#19 Posted by xyzygy (9895 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" What else do they have? Prince of Persia? Might and Magic? Those are never going to be major IPs again, if they ever were. "
Maybe, just MAYBE if they expand upon 2008 PoP. That type of game with new features is a day one buy for me.
#20 Posted by blacklab (1525 posts) -

Loved AC2, but could not finish Brotherhood. Got stuck on an escort mission and said goodbye.

#21 Posted by Toxin066 (3254 posts) -

This saddens me. I know that the quality will be diluted by the quantity, but I don't think I have the will power to say "No" if presented with a new RB6 or AC game every year.

#22 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

I had to refresh my memory on what they're working with so I went to wiki.

Driver, Call of Juarez, Might and Magic, Rayman, Tom Clancy's _____, Trackmania, Beyond Good and Evil, Farcry.
So I'd say they're probably thinking Splinter Cell, Far Cry, and maybe Rayman, PoP and Might and Magic get the yearly iteration treatment. But mostly I read this and go "okay, Splinter Cell and Farcry every year".
#23 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

hah More shitty annual games. I haven't even played AC2 yet. Guess there's no point now haha

#24 Posted by Death_Unicorn (2838 posts) -

And now, I will try my hardest to not buy Assassin's Creed.

#25 Posted by phish09 (1109 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" What else do they have? Prince of Persia? Might and Magic? Those are never going to be major IPs again, if they ever were. The quality of the games has been too inconsistent. AC sells well because there's never been a bad AC game, even if AC1 sucks by modern standards. "
Ummm...Splinter Cell.  Ghost Recon.  Rayman.  Far Cry. Red Steel.  Driver.  Beyond Good and Evil.  Call of Juarez.  And many more.  Ubi has a ton of franchises. 

I wouldn't want any of them to be annualized, but they do have more than AC and PoP.
#26 Posted by leebmx (2216 posts) -

This just depresses me. I played AC2 and loved it but there are too many experiences out there and too little time for me to play a different AC every year.

 It also annoys me because I think the story will just become utterly incoherent as they expand what was supposed to be a trilogy over god knows how many games.
 Business is business but this sort of thing just saddens me..
#27 Edited by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

I have to say I'm already pretty burned out when it comes to the AC sequels. When the milking becomes too obvious, franchises instantly lose their original appeal to me.

Let Dice make another Mirror's Edge game (leave out the shooting).

#28 Posted by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

Mirror's Edge 2!


Come on!
#29 Edited by l4wd0g (1910 posts) -

... well shit. Ubisoft really wants to be the most hated publisher.

#30 Posted by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -
@l4wd0g said:
" ... well shit. EA really wants to be the most hated publisher again. "
Wait what?
#31 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

This doesn't surprise me, but Ubisoft has to realize finding a new IP every couple years that they can pump out a million iterations of doesn't last. I mean look at Far Cry, Prince of Persia, the Splinter Cell games, the Ghost Recon games.... they were all pretty big at some point, but don't mean half as much as they used to. They were diluted to hell. 

#32 Edited by iizcallum (606 posts) -

They should apply it to Beyond Good & Evil!... then we might actually finally get a sequel.


Edit: They should also concentrate more on I Am Alive! Remember that, guys? Nope, me neither.
#33 Posted by l4wd0g (1910 posts) -
@CptBedlam:

My brain farted. I was just reading another EA article and crossed the stories in my mind. my bad. 
#34 Posted by HBK619 (160 posts) -
@CptBedlam said:
" Let Dice make another Mirror's Edge game (leave out the shooting). "
@Funkydupe said:
" Mirror's Edge 2!

Come on!
"
Mirror's Edge is EA.
#35 Posted by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -
@HBK619:Arr, you're right ... I'm all confused %)
#36 Posted by HBK619 (160 posts) -
@CptBedlam said:
" @HBK619:Arr, you're right ... I'm all confused %) "
They are starting to act and look the same though it can be said.

Soon it'll just be UbiActiArts and we'll be getting sequels by the month. :|
#37 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@phish09 said:
" @ryanwho said:
" What else do they have? Prince of Persia? Might and Magic? Those are never going to be major IPs again, if they ever were. The quality of the games has been too inconsistent. AC sells well because there's never been a bad AC game, even if AC1 sucks by modern standards. "
Ummm...Splinter Cell.  Ghost Recon.  Rayman.  Far Cry. Red Steel.  Driver.  Beyond Good and Evil.  Call of Juarez.  And many more.  Ubi has a ton of franchises.  I wouldn't want any of them to be annualized, but they do have more than AC and PoP. "
BG&E was a single game and it flopped. Are one off flops now considered successful franchises? "And many more", no dude. I checked the wiki, you were being generous naming half the shit you named and you covered everything.
#38 Posted by Aetheldod (3511 posts) -

Well no thanks Ubi , got tired of AC on the second one , and now I will definitely never ever purchase another AC game again , much less more tired annual  games from Ubisoft

#39 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

Ubisoft is like "more games like the wildly successful and very good AC:B!"

And gamers are like "waaah boycott forever".
I don't get it but okay.
#40 Posted by spankingaddict (2659 posts) -

Man! All I see are a bunch of negative, unappreciated comments.

I for one believe in Ubi! I couldn't believe how good Brotherhood was, and the storylines can go any which direction they want! I'm excited for the future of AC!!!!!!!!

#41 Posted by HydraHam (1338 posts) -
@spankingaddict said:
" Man! All I see are a bunch of negative, unappreciated comments.I for one believe in Ubi! I couldn't believe how good Brotherhood was, and the storylines can go any which direction they want! I'm excited for the future of AC!!!!!!!! "
I don't believe in Ubi, vegas 1 and 2 were both awful RB6 games, AW2 was a horrible sequel to AW1 with no real improvements.

I will give them credit on the vast improvements from AC1 to Brotherhood, but if this new AC is the same as brotherhood then it will just end up a series i don't care for anymore, i don't want annual sequels because they become stale, look at COD, it's been the same fucking game for how many years now?
#42 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

I loved Rainbow Six Vegas, I don't miss being able to clumsily command shitty bots but then that's what happens when you take off the rose tinted glasses.

#43 Posted by RuneseekerMireille (325 posts) -

This does not sound good to me. I like Assassin's Creed, but they really shouldn't go the way of Call of Duty with this franchise. They'll end up wearing it into the ground, as COD has done.



However, anybody think that a Beyond Good and Evil in the Assassin's Creed style of open world game would be kind of cool? I know I do.
#44 Posted by dvorak (1496 posts) -
@spankingaddict said:
" Man! All I see are a bunch of negative, unappreciated comments.I for one believe in Ubi! I couldn't believe how good Brotherhood was, and the storylines can go any which direction they want! I'm excited for the future of AC!!!!!!!! "
Yeah, truly. If it worked for Assassin's so well, then why not copy the formula. I think they've only gotten better as they go along, and that has to be the only yearly title with that distinguisher.
#45 Posted by phish09 (1109 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" @phish09 said:
" @ryanwho said:
" What else do they have? Prince of Persia? Might and Magic? Those are never going to be major IPs again, if they ever were. The quality of the games has been too inconsistent. AC sells well because there's never been a bad AC game, even if AC1 sucks by modern standards. "
Ummm...Splinter Cell.  Ghost Recon.  Rayman.  Far Cry. Red Steel.  Driver.  Beyond Good and Evil.  Call of Juarez.  And many more.  Ubi has a ton of franchises.  I wouldn't want any of them to be annualized, but they do have more than AC and PoP. "
BG&E was a single game and it flopped. Are one off flops now considered successful franchises? "And many more", no dude. I checked the wiki, you were being generous naming half the shit you named and you covered everything. "
BG&E wasn't a commercial success, but it is still a pretty popular.successful game otherwise they probably wouldn't have invested money in an HD remaster of it.

And I just checked the Wiki too and it doesn't even list half their franchises.  They have a ton of shovelware that they put out for the DS and Wii, and well maybe you or I have never bought an Imagine game or whatever, people obviously must and maybe those are the games they are talking about annualizing.   BTW...I'm not happy using the word annualize since it's not a real word.  Is there a better word to use for that?
#46 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

I don't care how many IPs they have, the question was how many franchises do they have that people give a shit about. There's a reason I didn't mention Just Dance.

#47 Posted by HydraHam (1338 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" Ubisoft is like "more games like the wildly successful and very good AC:B!"
And gamers are like "waaah boycott forever".
I don't get it but okay.
"
You don't get why we don't want good franchises being ruined by yearly releases? if you don't get it then you never will.

Developers need to take their time with games not pop one out every 12 months, in reality that would be what? like 7-8 months of real development time? rest cleaning bugs and polishing? i would rather get a new game in the franchise every 2-3 years not every year.
#48 Posted by Will1Lucky (408 posts) -

Biggest pull for me is just the story, it is in my opinion the finest crafted storyline of this generation. So long as they can keep that up they have my money. I mean I enjoy good gameplay, but for this series it is just the story so long as it isn't boring thats good.

#49 Posted by Jimbo (9773 posts) -

They don't have any other properties which are popular enough to sustain a model like that. 

You can get away with it when you start out with 8 million sales (or whatever AC1 sold) because boo hoo if you lose a few million along the way, you still have a very profitable product - at least for a good few years.  AC also has / had the benefit of being borderline genius in terms of how they set it up to allow different characters and different eras, which should allow them to keep the franchise fresh (it's unforunate they're neglecting that potential, but they always have it up their sleeve when they need it).

Prince of Persia is basically done for the time being.  Most of the Tom Clancy stuff is moderately successful at best nowadays.  Whatever their #2 franchise is nowadays, it's a long way short of AC in terms of popularity. 

If they try this model with Splinter Cell or whatever then they're just going to bleed money even faster.  AC's success started with brand new IP, not with trying to resuscitate flat-lining IP.  If they really want to replicate that success and use this model, then first they need to be creating new IP, which is the exact opposite of what they're doing.  There's no guarantee new IP will be successful of course, but you've gotta be in it to win it.

Far Cry has potential to do well for them, because there seems to be a market for open-world FPS and it hasn't been massively over-saturated yet.  A Rainbow Six vs. Al Qaeda game might do alright on the back of the Bin Laden assassination.  I think they could make successful games out of these, but not franchises that are going to sustain a game every year.

#50 Posted by Bladefire (214 posts) -
@Styl3s said:
" @ryanwho said:
" Ubisoft is like "more games like the wildly successful and very good AC:B!"
And gamers are like "waaah boycott forever".
I don't get it but okay.
"
You don't get why we don't want good franchises being ruined by yearly releases? if you don't get it then you never will.Developers need to take their time with games not pop one out every 12 months, in reality that would be what? like 7-8 months of real development time? rest cleaning bugs and polishing? i would rather get a new game in the franchise every 2-3 years not every year. "
I think the point of the CEO's comment, being a fiscal call, is that they have implemented what they see as a more effective pipeline for development. While what you're saying makes sense for most studios, most studios don't have 500 people working on a single game. Ubisoft seems to think it will be more profitable for them to maintain larger teams to speed production. As Guillemot said, " This is achieved through great execution by providing more resources and by putting in place a very compelling network of leads and associate studios." You throw more people and more money at a game, it'll get done faster. I don't know how conducive it will be to producing good games but it's an interesting idea.

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