Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez offered just enough information about a new IP announced during Ubisoft’s earnings briefing earlier this month. While neither Martinez nor chief executive Yves Guillemot disclosed very much, what they did have to say is enough to get gamers wondering.
Martinez described this title as “high potential,” and he explained that the game will have a “strong digital live service offer.” When asked about the new IP’s development team, Guillemot deflected the question. He answered, “We prefer you to wait a little bit.” We don’t have much to go on. So, what do we know?
- This new IP is considered a “AAA” title.
- It will be “strongly multiplayer-centric.”
- This game will be “following the path of For Honor, Ghost Recon, and Rainbow Six.”
- It will also have a “strong solo side.”
What does it mean that this game will boast strong multiplayer and solo campaign aspects? Will this game have an eSports initiative? Since none of Martinez’ or Guillemot’s statements are remotely conclusive, we will have to wait and see…which may be precisely the point.
Game developers must find a balance when marketing upcoming titles. While intrigue helps sell games, an overly long marketing campaign spotted with game delays can lead to waning consumer interest.
Ubisoft learned this lesson the hard way with Watch Dogs. Ubisoft intended Watch Dogs to be a launch title for Xbox One and PS4, but the release date was suddenly pushed back both on the calendar and in consumers’ minds.
Bethesda shook up the status quo last year by announcing Fallout 4 at E3 2015 and releasing the title later that same year. It can be expected that developers like Ubisoft are realizing they need to change up the game when it comes to marketing strategies. This is evidenced by Ubisoft’s upcoming release schedule. This new IP was announced this month, and it is slated for this coming fiscal year (April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017). Releasing within that same window are South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Ghost Recon Wildlands, For Honor, and the recently confirmed Watch Dogs 2.
Readers might notice the absence of Assassin’s Creed from that list. Guillemot made an announcement regarding the Assassin’s Creed franchise during the same investor meeting. He said, “…there will not be a new Assassin’s Creed game in 2016…it’s no longer something that will be set up every year.” Guillemot went on, “Since the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, we’ve learned a lot based on your feedback…We’re taking this year to evolve the game mechanics and to make sure we’re delivering on the promise of Assassin’s Creed offering unique and memorable gameplay experiences that make history everyone’s playground.”
It seems like Ubisoft is changing up their game-plan when it comes to announcements and release dates as well as listening to the community feedback. Let’s hope for a new trend in the release game in 2016!