Ubisoft CEO: Longer Console Cycles Bad for the Industry

by William D'Angelo, posted on 27 November 2012 / 6,556 Views

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot spoke with Polygon about the length of the current generation. He feels that longer console cycle has hurt the industry. The industry is use to having new consoles every five years and a longer transition between generations.

"I think that what has happened is the transition has been very long," said Yves. "You know, in the industry, we were used to changing machines every five years. This time we are in the seventh year of the 360. We need new consoles and at the end of the cycle generally the market goes down because there are less new IPs, new properties, so that damaged the industry a little bit. I hope next time they will come more often."

At the beginning of a console cycle is when developers are willing to take bigger risks with creating new IPs.

"Transitions are the best times, are the best ways, to make all of our creators take more risks and do different things," he said. "When a console is out for a long time ... you don't take as much risks on totally new IPs because even if they are good, they don't sell as well."

"Everybody who is taking risks and innovating is welcome because there are lots of hardcore gamers and those guys want new things, where the mass market will be more interested in having the same experience and doesn't want to take as much risks because it's not aware as much of what is going to change its experience."

"So, the beginning of the machines is always a good time for innovation."


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8 Comments

sethnintendo (on 27 November 2012)

So developers get lazy at the end of each generation is what I took from this article.


SecondWar (on 27 November 2012)

Not really, just afraid of taking risks, and the reason presented is valid. Take Assassin's Creed 1 and Dishonored for example. AC launched near the beginning of the current generation and, despite having many flaws, sold extremely well and spawned a huge franchise. Dishonored is undoubtedly the better game but launch late in the cycle and sales so far are not that good. Other new IPs that have launched this year have not done well either.


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TC_Squared (on 29 November 2012)

It's kind of funny to hear Ubisoft of all companies saying such. Assassin's Creed, PoP, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, Far Cry, Ubisoft has been milking these franchises since the beginning of this generation (and technically Assassin's Creed is the only one that was new). They have presented almost nothing new since the first 2 years of this generation. So either the Ubisoft CEO thinks that a generation should only last 2-3 years, or he's a hypocrite. Beyond Good & Evil 2 would be the only semi-new series title released late in this generation--since the only other Beyond Good & Evil game was the original, released back in 2003--but with the constant delays, I worry that it won't be done.


DonFerrari (on 29 November 2012)

Forgot Prince of Persia.


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Ail (on 29 November 2012)

What is bad for the industry is Publishers that only release 1 or 2 new IP per gen and if those are successful then they give us yearly iterations of those IPs......


DonFerrari (on 29 November 2012)

And he is the same guy that complained next year that a similar leap from last generation would make gaming making probihitively expensive.


NeoRatt (on 27 November 2012)

Really, there is no choice on console cycle lengths growing. There has to be enough innovation in graphics, compute, and storage to justify a new cycle and with processor manufacturers focusing on power consumption, size, and mobile devices the innovation just is not there.


Pjams (on 27 November 2012)

PC, a viable platform that has only grown over the years and never diminished, with proper support it would be easy to offset any losses incurred by the ever changing and fickle console generations, bummer you've been such greedy, myopic idiots


DarkD (on 28 November 2012)

Basically hes saying that the console cycle being 7 years this time around has oversaturated the market with too many titles. So the majority of users look at the titles at face value, they don't keep track of whats brand new and whats innovative. They just say "Hey Mass Effect 3, I WANT THAT" Followed by "ZombiU??? Whats that, im just gonna get the safe choice. ZombiU is probably just a bunch of Mii Zombies or something. " At the beginning of a new generation, the people who buy the new consoles are the people who stayed up overnight to get the console and preordered a console 2 months in advance. IE the hardcore, and the hardcore are educated about the games coming out. They decided what games they would get 2 months ago when they preordered it and they decided based on gameplay trailers, third party first impressions of the games, etc. So they are gonna be people who say "Mass Effect 3 on the Wii U??? I can get the whole trilogy and stable versions of the game on the 360, I'm here for ZombiU!!!!"


Normando (on 28 November 2012)

I agree that the console cycle this time around has been too long, but not with his reasoning.