Ubisoft has always been there. At the launch of Wii we were treated with many launch titles from Ubisoft, Red Steel and Rayman Raving Rabbids being among them. With Wii U, Ubisoft was right there with ZombiU and Just Dance.
Unfortunately, Ubisoft has dropped support for Wii U altogether, chalking it up to slow console sales with little chance of making back their investments. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want to work with the big N in the future according to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot;
“The new Nintendo [console] is a fantastic machine. It’s really a new approach, it’s really Nintendo, [which is] coming with something new again. We love it.”
We always take disruptions on the positive side. We think each time that it’s an opportunity for our creators to take more risks. When a machine is installed, there are a certain number of brands that take up the time of players, so they’re going to buy the next Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty. Even if they say, ‘I’m interested in what you’re doing,’ at the end of the day they first buy what they know, then go somewhere else.
When they change machines, they consider that it is better to try what has been done for that machine. This gives us an opportunity to totally change an IP that we have done before, or to create new experiences and new IPs.
What we see is, players are more open when new hardware is coming. So we have the chance to come with something we have never done before, because we know that if we are the first there, people will try our game and maybe we’ll be able to get into that new genre,” he explained. “As our people wanted to do a game like ZombiU, they were happy they could just use the Wii U to do it. For us, a machine is a tool of expression, but when everything become stable it’s less open to innovation. We always want innovation.
However, if you try something a little new and it’s not perfect, you come back quickly to what you know and works. As a gamer, if you change to new hardware, you have no references, so you’re looking at what people are saying are [the best games] and then trying them.
But if you have an [established] machine and there’s all the experiences you know on there already, you know you’re going to miss some of those to try something new, so you’re less inclined. For us, we know opportunities to try something new are a lot more rewarding when it’s a new machine.
Ubisoft has always had a working relationship with Nintendo, so it is no surprise that the wish to develop for whatever NX is. The question remains; will they continue serve up games long term, or will they jump ship if things start to get rough?
That all depends on what NX is and when Nintendo decides to tell us. Hopefully, at the very least, if developers don’t already have dev kits, they know what the system is and what the final specs are so they can start to make content for the device.