2019 was a bit of a disappointing year for Ubisoft. Sales were low for their big hitting games The Division 2 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint. They also delayed most of their upcoming 2020 titles such as Watch Dogs: Legion and Rainbow Six Quarantine.
Gamers have been complaining about the repetitiveness of Ubisoft games for years now, saying that if you play one Ubisoft game, you’ve played them all. This relates to what has been dubbed the “Ubisoft formula”, a term that has been used in a derogatory manner by some, but seen as an innovative approach by others.
The latter see their games as massive open worlds with lots of side quests, interesting characters and game altering choices (such as being sexually open with who you decide to sleep with in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Though they did back-flip with the the DLC). The former sees characters that lack solid development, stories that seem shallow and multiple fed-ex side quests (“Hero! I need you to give this medicine to someone five feet away from me! Can you please make this arduous journey?”).
Ubisoft have obviously listened to these complaints and decided to work on their infamous formula. They are therefore making some drastic changes, mainly to to their editorial team. This team had originally been comprised of 100 people, but now the company is expanding and rearranging to hopefully bring in a wider selection of views and ideas .
As the company told VGC last week, “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.” CEO Yves Guillemot during his announcement about delaying their 2020 games stated that “while many of our titles are strongly differentiated, we need to ensure this is the case for all of them.” So it seems that he is well aware that their games have been a bit too similar of late.
Ubisoft have some amazing IPs, from game-changers like Assassin’s Creed, to the hacker centered Watch Dogs and the fun chaos of Far Cry. Let’s hope that these changes will make the “Ubisoft formula” great again.