Delivering a keynote speech today at the Edinburgh Interactive, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot called for a focus on user-created content in the gaming industry, declaring that the gaming industry needs to "make sure that our consumers are the stars." He then of course revealed that Ubisoft is working on a top secret next-generation title that features that self-same focus. He went on to state that in order for user created content to work, developers would have to make a shift towards increasing customer support.
"If the creator only has an Xbox 360 then we will help him port [content]to another console. Although some users will be happy to see their creation just on one console. The goal is to make sure that users can show their friends that they are capable of creating content and prove it to themselves."
Guillemot went on to explore how to get lapsed and new players interested in the daunting task of creating content that will ultimately be judged by their peers and laughed at in internet forums and blog comment sections. On top of making sure the tools that come with UCC games are easy to use, he also details a mentoring system that Ubisoft will include in their games, where more experienced players are rewarded with points or free games for helping the more novice users along.
I'm always a little wary when developers start talking about shifting focus, mainly because they rarely do so without having a title in the works that shares said focus. It loses some of the power when you know they are trying to generate buzz for something they are doing. That having been said, I wholeheartedly approve of more UCC games, especially if someone is there to hold my hand and make sure the content I create doesn't suck.
EIF: "Our consumers are the stars," says Guillemot [GamesIndustry.biz]