January 18, 2020
You’d think after releasing what is essentially the same game over and over and receiving enough bad press about it, Ubisoft would try something new. Rainbow 6: Vegas was a masterpiece for its time, but they really need to step up their game.
For two decades the creative direction of Ubisoft’s games and IPs has been overseen by the editorial team, a Paris-based group of around 100 designers and producers who advise on everything from game design to script writing.
While they don’t create games themselves, the team has a huge impact on development teams across the company. Historically, editorial’s influence has resulted in a cohesive vision across all Ubisoft titles, with learnings from one project feeding into the next.
It was the editorial team that drove the company towards open-world and systemic games, pushed online elements and insisted that its narratives had a thematic basis in the real world, but avoided taking a political stance.
Weird. Injecting politics into video games usually makes people not want to buy them. Politics are garbage and a waste of time. Just don’t even bother.
However, following the disappointing sales performance of 2019 titles The Division 2 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint – which resulted in the delay of several games to ensure quality – Ubisoft announced it would implement “significant changes” to its production processes across the company.
For the editorial team, these changes will see the group expanded and reorganised, Ubisoft told VGC in a statement on Friday.
“We are reinforcing our editorial team to be more agile and better accompany our development teams around the world as they create the best gaming experiences for players,” it said.
A key goal of the editorial team’s restructuring is to make Ubisoft’s software line-up more varied, sources told VGC. In the past Ubisoft has been accused of including similar features in too many of its games and CEO Yves Guillemot said in October it would make more of an effort to differentiate them.
In a time when there was still real innovation in third-person shooters, say around 2008, you could get away with titles like The Division 2 and Ghost Recon Whatever. GTA V, Fortnite and PUBG basically killed the genre and it took Ubisoft way too long to realize it.
At least one Montreal game – said to have been “very far” in development – has been canned due to the reevaluation of the company’s production processes, while some in-development games as service titles are said to have been “reworked” with the intention of making them more distinct.
Ubisoft really needs to just work on the mechanics, AI, graphics, cut-scenes and controls of their games.
That’s all there is to it.