Ubisoft has become known for launch titles. That is, if there’s a new system launching, you can be almost certain that there will be at least one Ubisoft game in the lineup, a tradition that the company
plans to continue with the launch of the Wii U.
“We have big plans for Wii U,” Ubisoft Senior VP of Sales and Marketing Tony Key told Gamasutra. “Our intention is to be the number one third-party on Wii U, just like we were on Kinect and just like we were on 3DS.”
Ubisoft is counting on their strong relationship with Nintendo to give them an edge come time for the Wii U’s launch. The company has already confirmed a bevy of titles for the system, including Assasin’s Creed 3, Raving Rabbids, Killer Freaks from Outer Space, and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online.
“We’ve always had a really close relationship with Nintendo, so I’d venture to say that we did have an advantage in getting dev kits earlier than other people.” Key said. But that’s not to say that developing for a new system is easy. As with any other new system, Ubisoft is somewhat in the dark until they are given the final hardware specs or SDKs, meaning that much of what they do before is
“We’re always trying to figure out what we would do on that next system,” Key explained. “What we’re trying to figure out is: What will it probably be? What will the specs probably be? When we finally get a dev kit or some specs from the hardware company, we’re hoping that we were right.”
Ubisoft is hoping that their Wii U lineup will mimic the success of their Wii launch. What began with the development of Red Steel eventually ended with Rayman Raving Rabbids, GT Pro Series, and more. “We do encourage that kind of experimentation,” clarified Key. “That’s what happened on the Wii; we were so engaged with it after getting the kits for Red Steel that suddenly Rayman came out of that, and before you knew it we had seven titles in the launch window because the dev studios got so excited about the hardware.”
Key hopes that future consoles will feature more online connectivity. Taking into account Ubisoft’s recent history with draconian online-DRM, the cynic in me would be quick to assume that the company
only wants more online connectivity so they can continue to fight their losing battle against internet pirates. But Key claims that’s not the case.
“It would be great to have everybody connected because that would allow us to do a lot more stuff,” he explained. “One of the big frustrations we have when we’re making games is that we have all these ideas to cater to people if they were connected all the time.”
Whether the future brings always online consoles or not, you can be sure that Ubisoft will be there. Along with some 35 or so launch titles in tow.