Ubisoft to develop fewer triple-A games for next-gen

Fewer games of the triple-A variety will be developed by Ubisoft for the next-generation of hardware, the French publisher’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, has revealed.

Chatting with the Guardian, Guillemot suggested that free-to-play games will share more of the limelight, though PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 will still boast those major titles we’ve become accustomed to — there just won’t be as many of them.

"With next gen consoles, it’s going toward bigger games, and yes, we will make less of them. But with free-to-play games, the teams aren’t as big so we can try different things and find subjects that are of interest to consumers,” the executive said.

Guillemot’s statement isn’t the first to suggest we may see fewer triple-A titles when new consoles arrive. Alex Hutchinson, creative director on Assassin’s Creed III, labelled the upcoming historical action-adventure as one of the last triple-A “dinosaurs.”

Meanwhile, Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski recently commented that he expects the number of big console games to decline every year once Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen offerings arrive on the scene.

Guillemot went on to say the next crop of hardware “will be more powerful, but we can expect this generation – because they took quite a long time – to actually come with something really new, really interesting that will boost the market enormously.”

"You have a glimpse at what could happen with SmartGlass from Microsoft. Microsoft is also moving in to mobile – we can look at what they and Google are doing – those guys are trying to consider the universe we inhabit.”

"Being connected, playing with your friends on any device – consoles can continue to improve that experience and make sure it’s more believable, that you’re immersed in those worlds. The potential is there, with everything that’s been created in the last seven years, to give us new sensations."

Announcements for PS4 and Xbox 720 are expected to drop at E3 next year, with both consoles supposedly due to arrive in late 2013/early 2014. Meanwhile, Nintendo’s Wii U will launch this November.