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E3 2008: Ubisoft Press Conference

July 15, 2008

E3 2008: Ubisoft Press Conference
By: Dakota Grabowski 

Attempting to redefine a handful of different genres, Ubisoft delivers the goods at their press conference. 

Starting out with vibrant colors, the Ubisoft Press Conference presented a variety of different games for several diverse gaming crowds.   

The Prince

Perhaps the biggest discussion at the conference was the anticipation for the upcoming Prince of Persia title for the next-generation consoles.  Using the next-generation of the Assassins Creed engine, Prince of Persia revolves around the young action-adventure hero once again saving the world and, of course, a lovely girl. 

Executive Producer of Prince of Persia, Ben Mattes, took the stage to show off the game with Lead Designer Thomas Delbuguet.  Having been in development for two and a half years, Mattes said, “The new Prince of Persia is an introduction of an all-new prince and all new adventure for next generation consoles.”   

Slated for a holiday 2008 release, Prince of Persia will debut a new female lead named Elika who will follow the prince’s every move although she’ll never die or fall behind.  Mattes described her inclusion as “She’s there to make you, the player, feel cool.” 

“Prince of Persia is no longer a linear game,” said Mattes as the game will provide many paths to take and no two players will have the same experience within the game.   

Concentrating in the four areas of open world structure, artistic direction, support character AI, and a new combat system, Prince of Persia will release on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC at the end of this year. 

For Tween's

Focusing heavily on the casual and tween market, Ubisoft announced many games within the Petz franchise and announcing the creation of Ener-G brand, a new series of games that center on sports games for girls. 

Expanding the Petz franchie to monkeys, the Petz brand will allow players to crossbreed their animals to, as Ubisoft President of North America, Laurent Detoc, describes it, “Create your own unique Petz family.” 

Extending their marketing of the Petz brand, Ubisoft will be putting out UbiPetz plush toys on store shelves this winter which allow gamers to take the code off their plush and unlock that specific character in the game.  In total five Petz titles for Nintendo DS will release in the form of Petz Crazy Monkeyz, Petz Dogz Pack, Petz Horseshoe Ranch, Petz Sports, Petz Catz Clan, and along with Dogz 2008 for the Wii. 

As for their targeting of games for girls, Ener-G will serve as their attempt to attract more girl gamers.  Ener-G will encompass three different titles including: Ener-G Horse Riders, Ener-G Gym Rockets, and Ener-G Dance Squad for the Nintendo DS. 

If that wasn’t enough to gain the attention of girl gamers, Ubisoft are putting the spotlight on their Imagine brand as they’ll be releasing Imagine Babysitters, Imagine Fashion Designer New York, Imagine Wedding Designer, Imagine Teacher, Imagine Movie Star, and Imagine Party Babyz Wii.  All of these titles allow players to “imagine” what it would be like to fill the role of the specific hobby or career of the title.  

But it wasn’t all about grabbing the attention of new gamers or casuals, Ubisoft had stuff for shooting and action-sports fans too. 

Shooters, Sports, and Rayman

Brother in Arms: Hells Highway was confirmed for a September release date for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC as well as Far Cry 2 showing up in the form of a demonstration to detail that it would be arriving this fall on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC too. 

Shaun White Snowboarding, being developed by Ubisoft Montreal, was shown on stage by Louis Lamarch, the producer of the title, and Phillippe Morin, the animation director.  Midway through demonstrating the gameplay of the game, Shaun White made a surprise appearance to give his opinion on the game.   

White ultimately said, “My favorite part of the game is that you aren’t forced down a certain part of the mountain,” referring to the free roaming that gamers have provided to them.  Hoping to redefine action-sports titles, Shaun White Snowboarding will be releasing this holiday on the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and PC. 

Last, but certainly not least, Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party for the Wii and Tom Clancy’s End War both made appearances at the press conference.  Rayman was given a full on demonstration of how the Wii balance board is used within the game while End War centered on how it will be controlled entirely by your voice.  Both Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party and Tom Clancy’s End War will be releasing this holiday (Rayman on the Wii and End War on the PS3 and Xbox 360). 

In the end, Ubisoft put on an entertaining press conference.  They ended the show with a teaser trailer of I am Alive which had crowd buzzing of what the gameplay will be like and wondering what made the city within the trailer go down in ruins.



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