Ubisoft ‘Well Positioned’ for Next-Gen
Ubisoft is optimistic about its future leading into the upcoming console transition. Speaking to IGN in a recent interview, Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat explained how Ubisoft views itself as we prepare for next-gen hardware.
For us, next-gen will definitely be connected experiences, but also social experiences, more immersive, and more interactive.
“As far as being creative and showing what our studios can do, I think Ubisoft is well-positioned. We can’t wait,” Mallat told IGN. “For us, next-gen will definitely be connected experiences, but also social experiences, more immersive, and more interactive. First, we should start seeing that in a while. This cycle has been a long one. We really wanted the new consoles to come along. We’re happy to see that, based on what we saw from Sony last month. We definitely share the same visions. In terms of opportunities, I would say that there is a great momentum on everything that revolves already around the consumer’s way of spending his entertainment time. This is good news for us. Of course, every transition, every new machine, every new system, brings new opportunities for being more creative and for showing what a studio can do.”
Mallat explained that Ubisoft’s strategy currently revolves around two main engines: the Dunia engine, which runs Far Cry 3, and the Anvil Next engine currently powering Assassin’s Creed. “After that they make permutations or whatever for other titles,” Mallat said.
When asked if Anvil Next specifically will be used for games next generation, Mallat told us “yes, probably. On games that we cannot talk about yet. It’s funny to see that, from a pure technology perspective, we made probably the right call by going with the high-end PC versions a while ago already. Again, it’s been a long cycle. Without anything else, our own vision of what next-gen could be at the time, we bet on high-end PC. All the R&D and the work on our tools and pipelines and engines are starting to pay off. This is why we’ve been able to show playable code at Sony’s events, even last month. We were already working on those engines.”
Every transition, every new machine, every new system, brings new opportunities for being more creative and for showing what a studio can do.
With Splinter Cell: Blacklist launching in August, we asked Mallat if he’s at all concerned about timing current-gen titles so closely with the launch of next-gen hardware.
“I don’t think there is anything to worry about,” he said. “On the contrary, I think at that time in the cycle, you won’t find more machines installed already than now as far as current-gen. The market opportunity is definitely there. The gamers who have those machines, they deserve the best games we can make. Keep in mind that it’s always at the end of the cycle that developers are able to attain the most from these systems. The quality of games increases. We’re not worried at all about the current-gen console owners. But we’ll also have some good stuff to show from Watch Dogs on next-gen systems.”
“The engine doesn’t really matter when it comes to the platform,” Mallat concluded. “It’s just work you have to do to adapt. We’ll see. We’re pretty blessed with all the means that Ubisoft can put into the tech and the content. It’s been good to us so far.”
Look out for much more from Mallat and Ubisoft Montreal in the coming weeks on IGN.
Andrew Goldfarb is IGN’s news editor. Keep up with pictures of the latest food he’s been eating by following @garfep on Twitter or garfep on IGN.