While you can rarely fault the final products, many criticise the building blocks that go into each Ubisoft release. The French firm’s distinctive approach to open world design may be effective, but it can be difficult to ignore the similarities that its various series share – whether it’s Assassin’s Creed or The Crew, the same underlying design principles are there.
This has resulted in the company dropping some clangers of late, with sales of Tom Clancy titles The Division 2 and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint disappointing. And, ahead of the PlayStation 5's launch this holiday, it’s pushed the publisher into making some changes. According to VGC, the organisation’s editorial team – which consists of 100 designers and producers – is undergoing a revamp.
Here’s how Ubisoft apparently has been operating behind the scenes: each studio is assigned a specific project, but the overall direction of the publisher’s output is determined by the aforementioned editorial team. As one anonymous source illustrated: “There were often the ideas of just one or two people getting put into every game. That’s why you tended to see such similarity.”
This will now change, with multiple vice presidents given a specific franchise to look after. While each of the projects will continue to be managed by chief creative officer Serge Hascoet, the idea is that each leader will be given more autonomy to make their assigned series their own, resulting in differentiation between releases.
Some of the vice presidents include Child of Light’s Patrick Plourde and Splinter Cell’s Maxime Béland -- who’s returned to the publisher after a year at Epic – perhaps increasing anticipation for Sam Fisher’s return. This all sounds like a positive move for the organisation, which has released some great games on PS4 but will benefit from a shake up to its established output.