Why Ubisoft isn't abandoning its open worlds.

IbizaPocholo

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Ubisoft is now synonymous with open worlds, yet is there any chance it would ever return to more focused outings like Assassin's Creed Unity?

"No," CEO Yves Guillemot tells GamesIndustry.biz. "Our goal is to make sure you can have a Unity within an Odyssey. If you want to have a story of 15 hours, you can have it, but you can also have other stories. You live in that world and you pursue what you want to pursue. You have an experience, many Unity-like experiences."

The disparity between Odyssey and Unity also highlights how the scope of development has grown. Both titles had around ten studios working on them, but the amount of work required increases with the size of the game world (plus the sheer level of detail Ubisoft strives to present).

Yet as budgets have increased, the price point for end users remains the same -- roughly $60/£50 for a new release. If Ubisoft is trying to make bigger and better worlds, is this model even sustainable?

"It is sustainable, because the world is big and the number of players that can play our games is immense," says Guillemot. "What we've seen in the last few years is the number of players that play our games is constantly growing.

"New markets are opening up and games live a lot longer than before. So at the moment we see that we can continue to increase the investments because we know we can have a return on investment that can be quite long[-tailed]."

He adds that the 60 hour average play time for Odyssey proves that "players got a lot from their investment in the game, a lot more than they got before."

"Our teams don't stop after launching the game," he concludes. "We have huge teams that continue to create content for players to stay in those universes they love to be in. The fact that we have some players buying items in these games is giving our teams the chance to continue creating that extra content."
 
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Acidizer

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I wish they wouldn't equate bigger with better.

I'd come back for a more focused game. Not a fan of these boring massive open worlds.

Do they still have that animus cack? That crap ruins the game imo. Guess what - you're actually not an ancient warrior, you're a hoodied pleb named Desmond... honestly.
 
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majestix1988

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Using open world as hell farming and part of mess grinding to confuse players and makes them to do mtx
Truly Ubisoft trashy idea on open world mechanics,meh
 
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psygn0sis

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I can't stand Ubisoft nowadays, they've killed series like PoP and Splinter Cell because they don't fit their shitty open world template.
But we can't deny that this template makes money so it's easy for them to pursue that model.
 
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majestix1988

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Due nowadays western game publishers are now on control than its game developers that cause their games making suck and mtx heavy just to make more money and corporate "excuses" to make their names succefully but in reality they are becoming cancers of gaming society

That's why no splinter cell game even you will lose trust on Ubisoft if their Ceo showed up @ E3 that their games are good but they are not really damn gamers just doing false advertisement to us
 
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Guardian's Light

Formerly 'MrBlack'
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Well, Odissey is great, but I strongly disagree with them
Instead of Starting with a " must be open world no matter what" and building a game around that, should be the opposite, create a game concept, then value if it could work in an ow environment, then developing it
Can't imagine a Splinter Cell open world without it being shit
They are the best in doing open world tho, so it's not all bad
 

Woo-Fu

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Everybody complaining about it are just dogs barking at cars going by. Their games continue to sell millions of copies and make who knows how much money after release in microtransactions. The formula is successful because a lot of people really enjoy their games.

disclaimer: I've enjoyed every far cry expect for 5 and Odyssey was my favorite game of last year. I like to explore and Ubisoft's open world games deliver that.
 
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Birdo

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It's kind of a lazy way to make a game. Rather than having to make a well-paced linear game.

1. Make a large map
2. Fill it with cut-and-paste assets
3. Make a list of repetitive tasks to complete in said map

BOOM. Open-world Ubisoft game.
 
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Ryu Kaiba

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I feel like everyone who plays their games just recognizes the brand, assumes it must be good because it's popular, then buy it and get mad when others say its no fun because they've already sunk money into it.
Whenever I've met casuals who don't game but swear they do, then ask what games they play its always the same games. Fornut, Call o durty, Ass ass in crud. GTA.
 

FranXico

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It's kind of a lazy way to make a game. Rather than having to make a well-paced linear game.

1. Make a large map
2. Fill it with cut-and-paste assets
3. Make a list of repetitive tasks to complete in said map

BOOM. Open-world Ubisoft game.
You forgot the map reveal towers. Ubisoft introduced that trope.
 
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blly155

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their open words can be fun.

watch dogs 2 straight up ruined GTA V for me. in comparison Los Santos feels dead and boring.
 

Ozrimandias

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Everyone is on the "hate Ubi" train.
I personally dislike some stuff on how Ubi manage their marketing and games desing, but honestly, this gen gave us

One of the best tactical shooter : Rainbow 6, with content and improving every year, one of the most consistant gen for Tom Clancy Franchise, the introduction of a new Saga that could improve over years to come like Watchdogs and the Division.

I personally dont hate Ubi.
 

bobone

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Open world is a phase. Just like everything else in gaming. This will come and go over time.

Its already losing the awe factor because every game is open world now; people are used to seeing it and its not special anymore.

I loved Ass Creed Origins, but that was because I love the ancient Egypt time period. I had no fun at all with Odyssey; the boring and grindy nature of the game really came through for me. Its the only Ass Creed I didn't finish.

I don't agree that you can have a well developed 15 hour experience while in an open world. At least I haven't seen it executed effectively yet.
 
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peter42O

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Love Ubisoft!!!

Definitely want them to stay with open worlds for the majority of their games. However, a game like Splinter Cell should NOT be an open world game. At most wide-linear. Other than that though, I love their open world games from AC to FC to The Division to GR. Give me more!!! :)
 

ArchaeEnkidu

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Odyssey was the worst game in the franchise. I would greatly appreciate it if they *don't* go back to that style, but stick more closely to something like Black Flag or even Origins.
 

DeepEnigma

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Why abandoning your open world preset when you can reskin a game over and over under different brand names and make money over blind customers?
Pretty much. How many times did they reuse the Far Cry map so far? 4, Primal, and 5, right?
 
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manfestival

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I think the quick and easy answer is that open worlds allow for monetizing options and more monetizing means more opportunity for that CASHEEEESSSSSSHH. Rollin in the dubs ubisoft. Get that chaching!
 
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It's kind of a lazy way to make a game. Rather than having to make a well-paced linear game.

1. Make a large map
2. Fill it with cut-and-paste assets
3. Make a list of repetitive tasks to complete in said map

BOOM. Open-world Ubisoft game.
And this is presumably much easier to outsource to 20 teams of scattered asset creators, map designers, etc with little plot / narrative cohesion required. I truly hate games that feel like they've been made by committee or by corporate teams. I'd rather have a small game map designed with cohesion and a singular person's vision than anything these big maps can offer.
 
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NOLA_Gaffer

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I've been on a real Rayman 2: The Great Escape kick lately and that's arguably one of their best games ever made, if not their best game in the fifth/sixth generation.

And it was linear as fuck.

Linear experiences are not bad.
 

Bryank75

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I wouldn't mind the open-world design if the game-play was better.... but it is so vanilla, bland and non-descript....
They are one of the least innovative developers in the industry imo.
I am buying the new Ghost Recon but I have been a long time fan of the series and it's mostly out of curiosity.
I love greek mythology and lore but Odyssey was so so boring for me.. I just gave up on it.
 

zenspider

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Everybody complaining about it are just dogs barking at cars going by. Their games continue to sell millions of copies and make who knows how much money after release in microtransactions. The formula is successful because a lot of people really enjoy their games.

disclaimer: I've enjoyed every far cry expect for 5 and Odyssey was my favorite game of last year. I like to explore and Ubisoft's open world games deliver that.
I don't buy the ten million flies can't be wrong logic. It's true our criticism is piss in the pond compared to sales, but we're not shareholders here.
 
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#Phonepunk#

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it seems to be a successful formula with them. personally i don't have the time, but if I was a teen with lots of free time, I would probably be all about these massive games.

while people decry the open world, they have the mechanics nailed down pat. like no matter how tired you get of Far Cry, if you pick up a new entry, you are going to know what to do, how to play, and it will look better than the last. there's a kind of consistency there that is comforting.

my friend has a PS4 and plays the FC games and whenever a new one drops, I briefly think "oh yeah the story on this one..." until I realize we've spent the last 2 hours infiltrating & capturing bases, story be damned. the gameplay loop is undeniable.
 
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Woo-Fu

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I don't buy the ten million flies can't be wrong logic. It's true our criticism is piss in the pond compared to sales, but we're not shareholders here.
That comparison doesn't fit though, does it? It isn't about those players being right, it is about them being entertained, which evidently they are since they keep buying the games. Means you can't argue that the formula doesn't work---it quite obviously does, simply means all you can really say is that you're not one of those millions of people who do enjoy it.
 

zenspider

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That comparison doesn't fit though, does it? It isn't about those players being right, it is about them being entertained, which evidently they are since they keep buying the games. Means you can't argue that the formula doesn't work---it quite obviously does, simply means all you can really say is that you're not one of those millions of people who do enjoy it.

I get what you mean, because sometimes I get Burger King drive-thru when I'm hungry, but I don't mistake that for good or nutritious food. I enjoy not being hungry and I would enjoy better food more. What's obvious - or more obvious - to me is that Burger King's formula is successful because of the former: I enjoy not being hungry.

I don't think anyone is saying Ubisoft open-worlds are not entertaining, just that they're not as good as they could be, or, for some, as much as other games, and it's those same things that make them so reliable, palatable, and appealling to the lowest common denominator that opens them up to gaming enthusiast criticism, or at least the part of us that idealize the hobby.
 

bryo4321

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I feel like everyone who plays their games just recognizes the brand, assumes it must be good because it's popular, then buy it and get mad when others say its no fun because they've already sunk money into it.
Whenever I've met casuals who don't game but swear they do, then ask what games they play its always the same games. Fornut, Call o durty, Ass ass in crud. GTA.
“I don’t like popular thing, and if you do you are a casual and not a “tru-g4m3r””

Nice take dude lol
 

Valonquar

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I'm honestly trying to see where they are getting the claim that Oddessy took way more development than Unity. From my perspective both games had maps littered with cut & paste buildings and quests. All that giant map means is more time in loading screens waiting on fast travel. I do really wish they would invest more in story. There's good lore buried under a lot of bullshit, held together with elmer's glue. I guess there's too many cooks in the kitchen for anything that cohesive.
 

sublimit

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Because even though most people are always vocal about how much they hate them in the end they all just keep on buying them. :messenger_grinning_smiling:
 

diffusionx

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The problem with Ubisoft is not the open world. Actually a lot of their open worlds are quite beautiful and intriguing to explore. I love Odyssey's world design, shame the rest of the game is so uninspired.

The problem is that all of their games are merging to become the same exact game. Everything is turning into a pseudo-rpg with colored loot, skill trees with three different main branches, and bullet sponge enemies that go down based on your loot colors. Ubi has 3 big games this year - Far Cry New Dawn, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and The Division 2 - and they're all like this. Much to my dismay in the case of Breakpoint, as I really liked Wildlands. Worst of all, they claim these things as innovations or a way to mix-up the formula, when in reality it's just the same boring shit infesting different games like a cancer. Far Cry does need a shake up, but turning it into every other game you make is not a shake up.
 
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Horsemama1956

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The problem with Ubisoft is not the open world. Actually a lot of their open worlds are quite beautiful and intriguing to explore. I love Odyssey's world design, shame the rest of the game is so uninspired.

The problem is that all of their games are merging to become the same exact game. Everything is turning into a pseudo-rpg with colored loot, skill trees with three different main branches, and bullet sponge enemies that go down based on your loot colors. Ubi has 3 big games this year - Far Cry New Dawn, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and The Division 2 - and they're all like this. Much to my dismay in the case of Breakpoint, as I really liked Wildlands. Worst of all, they claim these things as innovations or a way to mix-up the formula, when in reality it's just the same boring shit infesting different games like a cancer. Far Cry does need a shake up, but turning it into every other game you make is not a shake up.
Well duh. I don't think anyone is asking for a linear elder scrolls or anything. The problem is they are basically making the same game in multiple franchises.

Nothing wrong with open world games but there is when you design it that way to make additional profit and basically copy and paste.

I hate all of rockstars games but at least they have a proper release cycle.

The problem is ubi are spraying Gaas on every franchise they have.
 
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Charlie Tunoku

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Open word is a much better development philosophy and design. Much better than the done and forget design of the past. Good they are sticking with it. My guess is that this is what is saving the single-player AAA games.
 
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Oddly, they are capable of decent games outside of the yearly franchises. Mario vs Rabbits, for instance, is surprisingly decent considering its source.
 

Barakov

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Well duh. I don't think anyone is asking for a linear elder scrolls or anything. The problem is they are basically making the same game in multiple franchises.

Nothing wrong with open world games but there is when you design it that way to make additional profit and basically copy and paste.

I hate all of rockstars games but at least they have a proper release cycle.

The problem is ubi are spraying Gaas on every franchise they have.
THIS right here is why I have a problem with Ubisoft's open world philosophy. They were right on the edge of it in Odyssey but they're getting dangerously close to P2W in their single player games.
 

CurryPanda

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Ubisoft is the best. All the haters can suck it.
 
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Love Ubi games, finishing up Odyssey right now and gunna jump into Far Cry 5 then New Dawn. I like that I can choose to binge them and just go wild or play small chunks and get some objectives done.

I usually get around 100+ hrs of entertainment from each offering (like Div 1 and 2) and move on so no complaints from me from a money spent perspective.
 
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