Head of Ubisoft France, Xavier Poix, recently made some interesting comments regarding the Wii U.
“It’s a long-term strategy for us. The first way it helps is you’re starting very soon on the new system. When the others are just starting you’ll be on your second or third iteration; that means productivity-wise when there is a new engine, etc. etc, you’ll go faster. It’s also a question of market share. Our goal on the Wii U-and we did that on the Wii as well-it’s a great opportunity to create new brands because at this time people are expecting new stuff,”
“If you arrive with good innovations supported by the console then you’re potentially creating something really new to appeal to players and then you can build a brand upon it, like we did with Rabbids and a bit earlier with Just Dance, and like we did with Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. On the other hand, you’re speaking of big investments, everything depends on the console itself. On the Wii U for instance, the level of the Wii U hardware is a little bit higher than Xbox 360 or PS3, but it was more about using the new GamePad and finding new designs for games, asymmetrical etc.”
“One thing for sure we knew is that this new controller would be something harder to convey than the Wii, which was about the movements in your game, so we knew we needed to educate people around this GamePad idea. We strongly believe that people have not yet realized the importance of the gameplay that this can provide, but for sure they need the good games to support the system. And they need the installed base to gain more support, which is not the case yet. For our games we really wanted to show the innovation. In ZombiU for instance, the players are really fond of the multiplayer mode because it’s totally new; it’s like one FPS player against an RTS player. On the second screen approach… We pushed the limits of that so it can be a real gameplay challenge to look at two screens.”
“We don’t have any disappointments compared to the installed base. We are just hoping that Nintendo’s results for Wii U will be a bit bigger, like Iwata-san said. Selling a new way of playing can take some time, and we know the power of the brands from Nintendo and we know from the fans that the majority of what will be the system sellers are not yet available. And on our side, Rayman will be one of them for sure. We really expect Rayman to be a huge system seller on the console.”
I was with you until that last line. I’m not sure how you can expect Rayman Legends to be a huge system seller when it’s not an exclusive. If Rayman Legends is really going to show off the Gamepad, then PS3 and 360 owners are going to get a heavily gimped version. If it doesn’t, it’s hard to imagine the game being a system seller.