We all know Ghost Recon Breakpoint is a disastrous defeat by Ubisoft in 2019, but who would have thought that the inevitable had been cherished for 20 years?
2019 was a failed year for Ubisoft . In the early months of the year, The Division 2 debuted and received much praise but failed to meet revenue targets, while the second half of the year witnessed the failure of Ghost Recon Breakpoint when it was heavily criticized. masonry, has a pathetic sales. Breakpoint is a heavy blow to Ubisoft’s business and gaming strategy, and the punch is “so heavy” that the French publisher was forced to postpone a series of three upcoming AAA games, Gods & Monsters. , Watch Dogs Legion and Rainbow Six Quarantine, accept the stock slippage they know will follow closely afterwards.
But Ubisoft’s failure seems not to be accidental, but of course – it was the result of a process that took 20 years, beginning with the creation of a special division within the Ubisoft ranks.
Editing … game!
I am referring to the “Editorial,” or Ubisoft’s “game editors”. This is a team of about 100 people including many game designers and producers working at Ubisoft Paris headquarters, responsible for shaping and driving Ubisoft’s game orientation for the past 20 years, since they were establish. This team does not directly make games, but has a huge influence on the development of Ubisoft’s internal games because they have the right to interfere with the design and gameplay of every game developed and published by Ubisoft.
However, after the failures Ubisoft experienced in 2019, the publisher decided to restructure the Editorial group. “We will strengthen the Editorial team to give them more flexibility and keep abreast of gaming teams around the world while they make the most compelling gaming experience for gamers,” Ubisoft said. The main goal of this restructuring is to make Ubisoft’s games in the future have its own characteristics. Ubisoft has been criticized for using too many similar features in its games, prompting CEO Yves Guillemot to say that they will try to improve that in the future.
According to the information that is known and what Ubisoft said in its latest announcement, Ubisoft’s Editorial team is the one who created a unified “vision” for every Ubisoft game. Their job is to advise game studios, and to transfer successful features from game to game, experience from project to project within Ubisoft. These are also the ones who pushed Ubisoft to the direction of making open world games, promoting games with online elements, and requiring Ubisoft games to have a little from reality, but avoid touching problems. Topic in real life.
For a game company, the existence of a team like this makes game creation a lot easier. When you see tower climbing features appear in Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, it’s thanks to them. When you see 4-person co-ops appear in The Division, Ghost Recon (it is rumored that the upcoming Assassin’s Creed called Ragnarok will also co-op 4 people), that’s thanks to them. The existence of this team as the brainchild of running and distributing the exciting features created by Ubisoft studios in their games reduces the time needed to create a game.
But according to the convenience of this team, there are hidden disasters and they have come to the surface in 2019. The game is not an article or a news item where everything is standard, but a product that requires creativity and innovation. When a major publisher like Ubisoft depended on the creativity of a group of people for decades, duplication and exhaustion of ideas were inevitable. You saw the consequences of this tactic in Ghost Recon Breakpoint : the game was criticized not only for being flooded with bugs and microtransaction, but also because it was crammed with gameplay features that were completely unfamiliar to fans of the series, but very familiar to fans of … The Division. Pick up the guns with rank and index? The Division. Do your enemies have mountains of Drones? The Division. Fighting bosses? The Division. Forced online? Also The Division. So why spend $ 60 to play Breakpoint when you can play The Division 2 ?
If you didn’t know, before Ubisoft made this decision to restructure, Ubisoft always entrusted its games to at least one designer and one producer in this group, and both would oversee the Project from his chair at Ubisoft Paris. They will give instructions to the game team, but all of them must follow the instructions of Editorial’s chief executive, Serge Hascoet.
Now Ubisoft has realized its problem and decides to change it. Former boss Serge Hascoet retains his position as head of the department, but according to some sources, Ubisoft will increase the number of “deputy bosses” to 7 and give them more authority to give Serge Hascoet time to oversee. overall rather than following all projects. Each Editorial team vice president is responsible for a brand and has the right to orient the games of that brand in the future, while Hascoet only checks projects when they reach certain milestones.
This is a change that I feel very welcome. When all of Ubisoft’s game brands are no longer tied to one, we can be confident that the new titles this publisher will release in the future will no longer be copies of each other. . Even in the event that we can’t keep up with the dramatic changes to the three titles Gods & Monsters, Watch Dogs Legion and Rainbow Six Quarantine because they have been in development for a long time and near the time of completion, the titles Later releases will probably benefit from this change as they have a clear separation of gameplay design.
This is one of three things that Ubisoft general manager Yves Guillemot said that Ubisoft changed in October 2019. According to him, Ubisoft will extend the time between its “service games” to attract gamers, those games must have development time long enough to create creativity in gameplay, and they must be different. separated from each other and cannot be a copy of each other as at present. Because of these changes, a game Ubisoft Montreal is developing and has achieved many progress was canceled in December 2019, while a number of other games were reviewed to make the necessary difference. in gameplay.