Easier To Launch New IPs At The Start Of A Generation
For Ubisoft, the next console generation can't come quickly enough. CEO Yves Guillemot explains that new hardware doesn't just herald an improvement in graphical output, rather, it makes the gaming audience receptive to new ideas and IPs.
“What we missed was a new console every five years,” Guillemot told Gamasutra. “We have been penalized by the lack of new consoles on the market. I understand the manufacturers don’t want them too often because it’s expensive, but it’s important for the entire industry to have new consoles because it helps creativity.”
According to the influential executive, customers are more open to new ideas in the honeymoon phase of a console's lifespan, allowing publishers to green-light more experimental projects with far less risk. “It’s a lot less risky for us to create new IPs and new products when we’re in the beginning of a new generation,” he said. “Our customers are very open to new things. Our customers are reopening their minds, and they are really going after what’s best."
“At the end of a console generation, they want new stuff, but they don’t buy new stuff as much. They know their friends will play Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed so they go for that. So the end of a cycle is very difficult."
Guillemot also believes that these early experiments can pay dividends down the line, and that seemingly innocuous innovations can lead to massive successes later in a console's lifespan. As an example, he suggested that the massively popular Just Dance series coalesced out of the Raving Rabbids dance minigame. "If you can't take risks because people don't buy, you don't innovate, Guillemot concluded. "And if you don't innovate, customers get bored."
The next console generation is expected to release in holiday season 2013, while the Wii U is rumoured to launch this November.