Ubisoft "no more new IP only AAA games" Am I the only happy one?

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#1 Posted by bhhawks78 (1202 posts) -

From 
 http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-08-31-console-market-not-supporting-full-range-of-products-says-ubisoft  

 Console market "not supporting full range of products," says Ubisoft

The home console market is no longer supporting alternative products for big publishers, leaving only blockbuster titles to break the top ten and become profitable.

That’s according to Ubisoft Euro MD Alain Corre, who told GamesIndustry.biz that it’s safer to invest in one AAA title rather than hedge bets on a handful of smaller productions.

"The games that are not triple-A are not profitable anymore," said Corre in an interview published today. "And that’s changed in the last 18 months.

"When you have a triple-A blockbuster it costs more money to develop, but at the end of the day there’s also the chance of a good return on it because there’s a concentration at the top of the charts. To a certain extent it becomes less risky to invest more in a single game or franchise than spreading your investment between three or four games. Because if those three or four games are not at the right quality level, you are sure to lose money," said Corre.


"So the business model has changed and we’re changing our way of making hardcore games. With hardcore games that we’re not sure are reaching the right level, we stop work on them. And that’s why we concentrate more on key franchises, because that’s what the market wants - something new with huge quality production behind it. The market is not supporting the full range of product that it used to anymore."

Although the French publisher has brought new IP to market successfully this generation with Assassin’s Creed, Corre said that upcoming strategy game RUSE might be the last new franchise from Ubisoft until a new generation of home consoles, as establishing new brands is proving too expensive.

"It is more difficult now. To launch a new IP you have to invest much, much more marketing to establish it, and if you add up the huge costs of development plus the investment in marketing you cannot be 100 per cent sure the target audience you’d expect, which is needed for the comeback on the investment.

"Especially in this part of the cycle of the consoles, we are cautious now to introduce new brands. We’ll concentrate on the ones we have and make sure we bring them to the next level in terms of quality."
 
People are ranting doom and gloom when stories like this come out but am I crazy for viewing this as a good thing?
 
Either have an obscene budget that needs to be a million seller at 60$ and will be an awesome game for any fan of the genre COD/Halo/Uncharted/Mario/GTA etc, or make it an awesome 5-15$ downloadable title.  Games with the 10-25$ million dollar budgets that are "decent" are the ones that usually fail spectacularly (Conduit/Red Steel 2/Dark Void/Bionic Commando etc).  Why would anyone buy those at launch for 60$ when you know they will almost always bomb and be available for 20ish$ in 2 months?  Either price your games accordingly, or get bigger, or get smaller.  I'm a fan of the continued separation into huge and small for game releases  (Lara Croft for 15$ was better than any current gen Tomb raider game, Monday Night combat might be my favorite multiplayer shooter this gen, but still loved massive dev/marketing budget games like Mass Effect 2/Uncharted 2 etc etc).

#2 Posted by Daiphyer (1308 posts) -

Oh no. So in years all we're gonna see is Assassins Creed and Tom Clancy? This sucks.

#3 Posted by Three0neFive (2288 posts) -

 Console market "not supporting full range of products," says Ubisoft


 herp derp if only we hadn't totally alienated our pc userbase
 
Seriously, go fuck yourself Ubisoft.
#4 Posted by Jeust (10473 posts) -
@Daiphyer said:
" Oh no. So in years all we're gonna see is Assassins Creed and Tom Clancy? This sucks. "
Yep. Looks bad. The good part of it is that i'll save money replaying my games, and getting a old ps2 game or two, and concentrate less in newer releases.
#5 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

Why would you be happy for this? While AAA games are great, it's the fresh new ideas that keep this industry interesting and alive. At least EA is still supporting new IPs. 
 
Though, I guess it's not entirely Ubi's fault either. Exponential increase in the cost of game production is pretty much forcing them along this route, and I expect other developers to follow suit as well. 

#6 Edited by Jimbo (9772 posts) -

'No new IP' isn't a sustainable business model at all.  It might drag them back into profit in the short term, but in two or three years they'll be fucked.
 
The presentation / 'style over substance' arms race isn't healthy for the industry at all.  There are a couple of winners and everybody else loses.  Basically, they all got greedy and wanted to play at the high-stakes table, but only a couple of them are really up to it.  I think you're absolutely right that they need to get back to making games that don't require a million (or even multi-million) sales to break even, particularly for launching new IP - smaller budgets, more innovation and more variety is what's called for.  
 
I still believe it's possible even today to break new franchises on PC & XBL/PSN, but not if you're spending so much money that you need to sell 1M copies at $60 each.

#7 Posted by bhhawks78 (1202 posts) -
@Geno said:
" Why would you be happy for this? While AAA games are great, it's the fresh new ideas that keep this industry interesting and alive. At least EA is still supporting new IPs.  Though, I guess it's not entirely Ubi's fault either. Exponential increase in the cost of game production is pretty much forcing them along this route, and I expect other developers to follow suit as well.  "
You either misunderstood or didn't read the whole post.
 
Not happy about lack of new IPs
 
Happy about the direction of heading to true major big blockbuster releases that are almost always awesome for at least the fans of the genre (halo/cod/uncharted/mass effect etc), or going to the 5-15$ downloadable route (monday night combat/new lara croft game/indie games).  The games that are in the middle ground usually are just overpriced, lose tons of money, and if they have any potential could have been salvaged in a smaller scope awesome game (Kane and lynch visual effects 2/dark void jetpack stuff/conduits insane customization).
#8 Edited by Diamond (8634 posts) -
@Three0neFive:  I don't think that's what they were referring to.  Unless the herp derp was you suggesting that...  I dunno.
 
ANYWAYS, this is really depressing.  Even if Ubisoft would be one of the more money-grubbing companies to give up on innovative products...  Well, it's not a good sign for the industry.
 
I feel like in 15 years we might all be playing games developed with 8-bit / 16-bit era budgets.
#9 Posted by bhhawks78 (1202 posts) -
@Diamond said:
" @Three0neFive:  I don't think that's what they were referring to.  Unless the herp derp was you suggesting that...  I dunno.  ANYWAYS, this is really depressing.  Even if Ubisoft would be one of the more money-grubbing companies to give up on innovative products...  Well, it's not a good sign for the industry.  I feel like in 15 years we might all be playing games developed with 8-bit / 16-bit era budgets. "
If you read the article essentially new cycle = new IP for most companies especially ubisoft because less competition plus new tech to explore new ideas.  This generation seems like ti will last awhile so new IP unless it is amazing like deadspace or small down loadable scale doesn't stand a great chance to make money.
#10 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

I want them to make a new Rainbow 6 game. I loved that series, and I'm having a blast playing Terrorist Hunt with a friend in Vegas 2

#11 Posted by OneManX (1680 posts) -

New IPs are a big risk and a company like Ubisoft took risk,a few years ago, they got fucked... and let's be honest this is a business and getting fucked, isn't good business.
 
As long as the games are good/great, I have no real complaints, since that is what really matters to me.

#12 Posted by ProfessorEss (7280 posts) -

This strikes me as yet another decision gamers will hate - even tho it was their wallets, not Ubisoft, who actually made this decision.

#13 Posted by LlamaLlama (174 posts) -

I want my PoP 2008 sequel :(
#14 Edited by Jeust (10473 posts) -
@bhhawks78 said:

" @Geno said:

" Why would you be happy for this? While AAA games are great, it's the fresh new ideas that keep this industry interesting and alive. At least EA is still supporting new IPs.  Though, I guess it's not entirely Ubi's fault either. Exponential increase in the cost of game production is pretty much forcing them along this route, and I expect other developers to follow suit as well.  "

You either misunderstood or didn't read the whole post.  Not happy about lack of new IPs  Happy about the direction of heading to true major big blockbuster releases that are almost always awesome for at least the fans of the genre (halo/cod/uncharted/mass effect etc), or going to the 5-15$ downloadable route (monday night combat/new lara croft game/indie games).  The games that are in the middle ground usually are just overpriced, lose tons of money, and if they have any potential could have been salvaged in a smaller scope awesome game (Kane and lynch visual effects 2/dark void jetpack stuff/conduits insane customization). "
But without a middle ground we're left with either a sequel of a sequel of a sequel, with all the fluff to a new level, or with a downloadable game restrained by size and scope.  That polarization is bad. Even if the new downloadable games are more than mini-games, we will get lesser ambitious products.  
 
We're left with the choice big franchise sequel or "new crappy production values and harsher constraints ip".  
#15 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

Don't they remember 3 years ago when they released a new IP and it was the biggest new game of that year.

#16 Edited by Goldanas (544 posts) -

Risk is not the game people want to play today. That's why people, especially recent college graduates, have a hard time finding work right now. With long-time companies going out of business all over, mass lay-offs left and right, companies don't want to gamble on something that has a better chance of destroying them than actually giving them a hit. 
 
Real talent in a creative industry is difficult to come by. Someone who knows what they're doing exceptionally well, and also knows how to market their product, isn't the kind of person that is knocking at everyone's door. Even if he was, developers have no measurable way of determining one's talent. 
 
This news isn't good news, and you shouldn't be happy. What it is is a smart business move right now. When we come out of this world depression, they'll change their tune with new IP by the truckful. For now, you just have to leave the new stuff to the indie people and the downloadable market.

#17 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -
@bhhawks78 said:
" @Geno said:
" Why would you be happy for this? While AAA games are great, it's the fresh new ideas that keep this industry interesting and alive. At least EA is still supporting new IPs.  Though, I guess it's not entirely Ubi's fault either. Exponential increase in the cost of game production is pretty much forcing them along this route, and I expect other developers to follow suit as well.  "
You either misunderstood or didn't read the whole post.  Not happy about lack of new IPs  Happy about the direction of heading to true major big blockbuster releases that are almost always awesome for at least the fans of the genre (halo/cod/uncharted/mass effect etc), or going to the 5-15$ downloadable route (monday night combat/new lara croft game/indie games).  The games that are in the middle ground usually are just overpriced, lose tons of money, and if they have any potential could have been salvaged in a smaller scope awesome game (Kane and lynch visual effects 2/dark void jetpack stuff/conduits insane customization). "
I don't agree the games that are in the "middle ground" of AAA blockbusters and downloadables are overpriced at all. The reason why they get a significant price drop in a short period of time is due to lack of demand. This typically stems from lack of marketing, and a general fear of the unknown from consumers. This says nothing about their innovation or quality; for example games like Mirror's Edge and Dead Space wouldn't have been possible without investment into new IPs. In a broader sense, none of the current hit franchises such as Call of Duty would've existed without an initial investment. It just happens that we've currently hit a point where a) there are enough established franchises to draw from and b) game development is becoming too costly.  
 
The development cost of an average game this generation from a major publisher is around $25 million. I find it difficult to imagine how a new IP built on such a scale could be "salvaged in a smaller scope awesome game". A game such as K&L2 would've obviously benefited from a longer campaign and more polish. As many reviews have said, it reaches for something great, but just misses the mark. There is a long stretch between indie titles or downloadable games and AAA blockbusters, and I believe that should be filled with the new interesting ideas that are also given the resources to fully develop into something excellent. Unfortunately the reality of the game industry at the moment makes that harder and harder, however I'm still not pleased in any way that Ubi is stopping the production of their new IPs. 
#18 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@Dany said:
" Don't they remember 3 years ago when they released a new IP and it was the biggest new game of that year. "
i know right?
#19 Posted by bartok (2420 posts) -

So don't all games start out as original IPs ?  Technically every popular game franchise started out as an original IP even stuff like Madden and Guitar Hero.

#20 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -
@bartok:  Yep.  We'll have no more of those.  And only 1 game every 2 years, and you HAVE to buy it because that's all there'll be.  And there will only be military style shooters.
#21 Posted by Brodehouse (9585 posts) -

Not surprising.  Of all their franchises, the only one that is cleaning up is Assassin's Creed.  The Prince hasn't been blowing the doors down lately, and Sam Fisher's return wound up being extremely expensive.  Ghost Recon and Rainbow probably can't compete with the popular military shooters, and I have my doubts about the sales of a new Rayman game.  And then stuff like HAWX and RUSE are boondoggles.
 
The real impact is that, from what I can tell, the Imagine series has underperformed lately.  I think the casual market got a little hip to Ubisoft's schemes.  And those Imagine and Petz games basically bankroll half of their 'core gamer' games.

#22 Edited by Gaff (1650 posts) -
@bartok:

Q:  So will the next-generation of home consoles be the time again for Ubisoft to invest in new IP?

Alain Corre: I think so. That’s always been the case in the past because it’s a fresh approach. The new technology always brings new ideas for gameplay or innovation and you can use this to introduce a new IP that will be attached to the hardware. And the market is usually less crowded in the first 18 months of a new machine, so then you can try something new. Right now there are so many huge IPs already known that it’s very competitive.

  http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-08-31-corre-gamer-interview?page=2 (registration required) 
 
Oh well, there's always next generation. 
#23 Posted by Blueman (753 posts) -

Ubisoft, just hurry up and give me Far Cry 3. I don't care what else you do, frankly I'm bored of Tom Clancy and you've milked Assassins Creed for all it's worth.

#24 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -
@Azteck said:
" I want them to make a new Rainbow 6 game. I loved that series, and I'm having a blast playing Terrorist Hunt with a friend in Vegas 2 "
This dude, this.  Terrorist Hunt in Vegas 2 is so good.
#25 Posted by august (3827 posts) -

Fuck these AAA games, where are my AAAA games?

#26 Posted by thevector (66 posts) -

So does this mean "just dance" is a AAA title? 

#27 Posted by trophyhunter (5800 posts) -
@LlamaLlama said:
" I want my PoP 2008 sequel :( "
fuck yeah
#28 Posted by phantomzxro (1565 posts) -

I don't know if I agree with you there, yes i think it is great downloadable games are making a better mark in the market and i think it is a great way for up and coming companies to make great games without the fear of "it better be a blockbuster hit or it's pretty much the end of the road". I still don't think it is a replacement for full blockbluster new IPs. There is still room to have a mix of both full new IP and sequels. because the sequels are what will make the money but New IPs are what increase the life line of a company because you only can make a set number of sequels before people move on.  downloadable games work great in offering great ideas and more freedom to try new things, also the point you make i do agree with is that some games are better priced as a downloadable game then trying to turn it into a full retail game and try to get 60 bucks out of everyone.
#29 Posted by JohnRabbit (99 posts) -
@bhhawks78 said:

" From 
 http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-08-31-console-market-not-supporting-full-range-of-products-says-ubisoft  

"The games that are not triple-A are not profitable anymore," said Corre in an interview published today. "And that’s changed in the last 18 months.

"When you have a triple-A blockbuster it costs more money to develop, but at the end of the day there’s also the chance of a good return on it because there’s a concentration at the top of the charts. To a certain extent it becomes less risky to invest more in a single game or franchise than spreading your investment between three or four games. Because if those three or four games are not at the right quality level, you are sure to lose money," said Corre.


developers and publishers cannot go around espousing such garbage and pretend they have had nothing to do with this transformation.  the industry is not "non supportive" of non-AAA titles, the industry is non-supportive of changing their business model.  the notion that for any game to succeed you need a gargantuan budget or a small team who catches lightning in a bottle should be offensive to consumers.  rather than force games that "should sell" down our throats and scratch their heads when it bombs maybe if publishers took a measured approach toward the distribution model and realized you could sell a "mid-tier" product for a "mid-tier" price with a "mid-tier" distribution scale and have it succeed.
 
but hey, it's great that we'll stymie creativity in the name of "assured" profitability.
#30 Posted by Rockanomics (1150 posts) -

As long as it means Beyond Good & Evil 2 is coming then I am happy.

#31 Posted by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -

They probally lost a ton of money with their latest drm. Still who cares, ubisoft isn't the same company I respected in the past. Besides assassin's creed 2, they aren't exactly creating 90% and over games. They can recycle their games with sequels for all I care.

#32 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -
@xobballox said:
" @Azteck said:
" I want them to make a new Rainbow 6 game. I loved that series, and I'm having a blast playing Terrorist Hunt with a friend in Vegas 2 "
This dude, this.  Terrorist Hunt in Vegas 2 is so good. "
I know right?? I just want more of it!
#33 Posted by Ramone (2959 posts) -

The point is to bankroll your innovative and unique IPs with sure-fire AAA titles. Clearly Ubisoft do not understand this concept.

#34 Posted by MetalGearSunny (6986 posts) -

Ok seriously now, this is Ubisoft, the people who also publish the Petz games. Tell me, did you think they were ever going to put out a new IP?

#35 Posted by MrCandleguy (822 posts) -

Really? That kinda blows but atleast I like assassin's creed.

#36 Posted by bhhawks78 (1202 posts) -
@JohnRabbit said:
" @bhhawks78 said:

" From 
 http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-08-31-console-market-not-supporting-full-range-of-products-says-ubisoft  

"The games that are not triple-A are not profitable anymore," said Corre in an interview published today. "And that’s changed in the last 18 months.

"When you have a triple-A blockbuster it costs more money to develop, but at the end of the day there’s also the chance of a good return on it because there’s a concentration at the top of the charts. To a certain extent it becomes less risky to invest more in a single game or franchise than spreading your investment between three or four games. Because if those three or four games are not at the right quality level, you are sure to lose money," said Corre.


developers and publishers cannot go around espousing such garbage and pretend they have had nothing to do with this transformation.  the industry is not "non supportive" of non-AAA titles, the industry is non-supportive of changing their business model.  the notion that for any game to succeed you need a gargantuan budget or a small team who catches lightning in a bottle should be offensive to consumers.  rather than force games that "should sell" down our throats and scratch their heads when it bombs maybe if publishers took a measured approach toward the distribution model and realized you could sell a "mid-tier" product for a "mid-tier" price with a "mid-tier" distribution scale and have it succeed.  but hey, it's great that we'll stymie creativity in the name of "assured" profitability. "
Why is it bad to push creativity to the 5-20$ games before making that huge risk?  Honestly sounds perfectly sensible to me.
#37 Posted by Tennmuerti (8002 posts) -
@HitmanAgent47 said:
"

They probally lost a ton of money with their latest drm. Still who cares, ubisoft isn't the same company I respected in the past. Besides assassin's creed 2, they aren't exactly creating 90% and over games. They can recycle their games with sequels for all I care.

"
QFT
#38 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

For Ubisoft, its pretty good, considering the number of crapware they have been putting out (HAWX, RUSE, End War, etc.). 
 
Though whatever you do Ubisoft, show some love for the Rabbids.

#39 Posted by SpiralStairs (1020 posts) -

I've never cared much for any of their games, so I'm indifferent.

#40 Posted by JohnRabbit (99 posts) -
@bhhawks78 said:
" @JohnRabbit said:
" @bhhawks78 said:

" From 
 http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-08-31-console-market-not-supporting-full-range-of-products-says-ubisoft  

"The games that are not triple-A are not profitable anymore," said Corre in an interview published today. "And that’s changed in the last 18 months.

"When you have a triple-A blockbuster it costs more money to develop, but at the end of the day there’s also the chance of a good return on it because there’s a concentration at the top of the charts. To a certain extent it becomes less risky to invest more in a single game or franchise than spreading your investment between three or four games. Because if those three or four games are not at the right quality level, you are sure to lose money," said Corre.


developers and publishers cannot go around espousing such garbage and pretend they have had nothing to do with this transformation.  the industry is not "non supportive" of non-AAA titles, the industry is non-supportive of changing their business model.  the notion that for any game to succeed you need a gargantuan budget or a small team who catches lightning in a bottle should be offensive to consumers.  rather than force games that "should sell" down our throats and scratch their heads when it bombs maybe if publishers took a measured approach toward the distribution model and realized you could sell a "mid-tier" product for a "mid-tier" price with a "mid-tier" distribution scale and have it succeed.  but hey, it's great that we'll stymie creativity in the name of "assured" profitability. "
Why is it bad to push creativity to the 5-20$ games before making that huge risk?  Honestly sounds perfectly sensible to me. "
by your logic i could reinforce my own post.  why is it bad to push creativity into a $40 game and having it be a huge risk?
 
the way this guy would have you see it, there's zero room for a properly scaled production.  its either balls-to-wall double-digit million dollar budget, or $5-$15 game made by a small team.  if games like RUSE, and HAWX2 had been released at a lower price-point and had some of their undoubtedly extraneous budget costs removed from the production, there's no reason they could not have been profitable if not at least broke even.
#41 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

this means we are going to see splinter cell more. it gets kind of boring to see that  a  lot of times. it is going to be the same game just different story. i enjoy seeing new IP's when they are released. a lot of times they end up being great. the only time i would say it's ok to have a sequel to a game is by them releasing the game like 2 or more years, not every year.

#42 Posted by agentboolen (1751 posts) -

Ubi is just one of those companies that doesn't have anything that is going to interest big audience's of gamers.  Right now gamers only buy what sells big, and I don't thinks Ubisoft has anything that really sells that well.  Not to mention with the whole online gaming thing gamers are like ants they only follow what the other ants are doing, MW2 is a prime example of that.

#43 Posted by Raven_Sword (3438 posts) -

No Ubisoft, its not the markets fault, its just that not a whole lot of people want most of the games you put out.
#44 Posted by niamahai (1405 posts) -

in the year 2011:
 
 
BG&E 2 confirmed as PSN and XBLA title.
 
Petz franchise to be released on PS3 and X360. JUST IMAGINE: The realness of the fur! So soft!

Online
#45 Posted by Vinny_Says (5686 posts) -

Ubisoft created assassin's creed which at the time was one of the most original games ever...this makes me sad because we will never see anything as original anymore...

#46 Posted by beef_melody (260 posts) -

Ubisoft really take the cake for boneheaded blanket statements.

#47 Posted by Ryax (4630 posts) -
@Diamond said:
" @Three0neFive:  I don't think that's what they were referring to.  Unless the herp derp was you suggesting that...  I dunno.  ANYWAYS, this is really depressing.  Even if Ubisoft would be one of the more money-grubbing companies to give up on innovative products...  Well, it's not a good sign for the industry.  I feel like in 15 years we might all be playing games developed with 8-bit / 16-bit era budgets. "
and in that case i hope the go back to the snes because i need another reason to whip that bad boy out. you can only beat the classics so many times
#48 Edited by Jeust (10473 posts) -
@beef_melody said:

" Ubisoft really take the cake for boneheaded blanket statements. "

Nahhh they are runner-ups to Bobby Kotick and Activision-Blizzard.
#49 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -
@Ryax said:
and in that case i hope the go back to the snes because i need another reason to whip that bad boy out. you can only beat the classics so many times
It'd probably take the form of low budget games on modern hardware, unless some crazy company manages to standardize gaming hardware into TV sets.  Honestly, it might actually make games more interesting, but it would definitely piss off the graphics whores.
 
Not to defend any of the companies, because they're definitely largely responsible for the condition of the industry, but it's hard to imagine game budgets getting bigger unless the entire dynamics of the industry changes drastically.
#50 Posted by Ryax (4630 posts) -
@Diamond said:
" @Ryax said:
and in that case i hope the go back to the snes because i need another reason to whip that bad boy out. you can only beat the classics so many times
It'd probably take the form of low budget games on modern hardware, unless some crazy company manages to standardize gaming hardware into TV sets.  Honestly, it might actually make games more interesting, but it would definitely piss off the graphics whores.  Not to defend any of the companies, because they're definitely largely responsible for the condition of the industry, but it's hard to imagine game budgets getting bigger unless the entire dynamics of the industry changes drastically. "
i agree completely. but you gotta admit. if you saw like an 16 bit side scrolling mass effect 2 with megaman style art. it would be pretty awesome

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