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Ubisoft Says Lack of New Consoles Is "Why Industry Is in Depression"

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In a recent interview with MCV, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot spoke about Ubisoft's disappointing fiscal performance in 2010, which he described as “a good kick in the arse for us.” While he feels Ubisoft can do better, he also acknowledges that the market is partially to blame. The problem? We need new game consoles.

“As an industry we need innovation,” said Guillemot. “Kinect, Move, 3DS, NGP—all these things will help. Yes, the accessories and handhelds are really good, but I think it would be great for the industry to take advantage of technological advancements.” Guillemot cites the advancements in graphics cards and processors as a reason why the current platforms aren't the place for innovation.

“That’s part of the reason why the industry is in depression. Consumers like the current formats, but there is not enough creativity at the end of a cycle to really spark the business,” he said. Guillemot believes that the current generation is a tough time to launch new IP, and creativity suffers for it. “At this stage in the consoles’ lifecycles it is possible to do new IP, but it will be more attractive when new consoles come along. That’s when consumers are more open to trying new things. As consoles get more mature it is the big established brands that soak up most of the sales.”

One needs only look at the overwhelming sales of games like Call of Duty: Black Ops to see that Guillemot has a point. At the beginning of this generation, franchises and ways of thinking were created and reiterated. Now most sequels are so established that they almost always look like the most appealing purchase. There are exceptions, of course, but when the next consoles come along, companies like Ubisoft can take advantage of the "wow" factor to launch fresh IPs.

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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