Is Ubisoft the new gold standard

Is Ubisoft the new standard bearer for how games should be made, and how publishers/shareholders interests and consumer respect can meet? Ubisoft has always been a second-tier developer from my own perspective. I’ve always enjoyed rainbow six games and the splinter cell series. Games like this are well-made and enjoyable to play but I’ve never seen them as something that was truly unique or caught my eye and some profound way. the earlier aspects of the assassin’s Creed series while interesting was never something that really caught my imagination. I know this is not the case for many gamer’s, and my perspective of Ubisoft of the past may not be one shared by many people.

Recently with the release of Assassins Creed Origins, Assassins Creed Odyssey, Far Cry 5 and now the Division 2 my perspective on Ubisoft is moving into a new light. All these games are showing up with excellent reviews, and for my part I can say that Origins is one of the best games I’ve ever played in my life. I have also greatly enjoyed Odyssey, and Far Cry 5 is on my to do list. While I know that my perspective is just that a subjective view point it is hard to find any truly overwhelming negative press on any of these games. The only thing that really stands out in that dimension is The Division 2 being slightly repetitive; which is a hazard that no loot shooter has been able to overcome in the genre. While I do not personally see a desire in playing a style of game with this flaw that is almost impossible to overcome, the critics of this flaw in the Division 2 are a trickle in comparison to other games in the genre that have had recent releases.

Recently the gaming industry seems to be plagued with poor reviews and bad releases while Ubisoft has had recent string of amazing successes. What is the secret sauce that is driving this momentum at this company? Ubisoft was founded 32 years ago 5 five family members. The Guillemot family has retained its position of control in the company with a CEO of the company, being one of the family members that helped found the company back in 1986. Even when electronic arts purchased 13.9% of the company in 2004 and Ubisoft considered it to be a hostile takeover they continued to maintain control of the vision and direction of their company. Electronic Arts denied that it was a type of hostile takeover and inevitably ended up selling their share of the company in 2010. Ubisoft still maintains its leadership that initially started it and that leadership has continue to guide the vision of Ubisoft and its identity over the last 30 years. What I’m getting at is I think that Ubisoft has a soul. The soul of a company is always in the people that run it, and when the people that run a company only have one goal and objective in mind; that singular focus will inevitably become the entire character of the company. When leadership in a company is focused on multiple aspects of the company’s health, such as. You’re human resources, your long-term business strategy, a respectful relationship with your consumers. And so much more you will see this reflected in the character of the company and in the actions that they take. While Ubisoft is not without its flaws, and there are things about the Assassin’s Creed games origin and odyssey that I do not directly approve of. IE the inclusion of micro-transactions to the level that they do, I must admit the part of me is okay with it since Ubisoft delivered a completed product of excellent quality and value for the money that I paid for the full price retail game was directly reflected in the game I played through.  

I hope that other companies and publishers can take a page from the book of Ubisoft and find that middle ground between the growth of revenue, the financial health of a company and its shareholders, while balancing respect for the consumer and fairness in your transactions with them, and lastly valuing the people that work for you and make these amazing products a reality.

1 Comment

  1. Not sure I agree. Ubisoft still packs their games with micro transactions (look at the state of the new AC games’ stores) and they’re still open world ‘to-do list’ games. I think the gameplay is often fine, and with Ubisoft games you tend to know exactly what you’re getting.

    In terms of excellent developers/publishers right now, I’d say look no further than Capcom. It’s March and they’ve already released two excellent games this year that don’t attempt to fleece customers. They’re who I see as the gold standard right now.

    Liked by 1 person

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