The Secret To Making Amazing Franchises? Fans

The future of gaming isn't about a proliferation of platforms, it's about an abundance of stories and making something that transcends those platforms to become a pastime.

Speaking to a gathering of game developer luminaries last week at the DICE Summit, Jade Raymond explained her philosophy on making not just a game, but a franchise.

"On Assassin's Creed we spent a year on pre-conception," said Raymond, managing director of Ubisoft Montreal . "And it wasn't just about how to make a great game."

The team also spent a lot of time thinking about the franchise's stories on a "meta arc", about how to create sandboxes, not just singular games.

Her team did this not just to ensure the future of the budding franchise, but to help ensure that the people who worked on it wouldn't grow bored and leave.

Once a game makes the leap from series to franchise, something that can be used to fuel television shows and movies down the road, developers have to look to step two, Raymond said.

"The future isn't really about all of these platforms," she said, "it's about becoming a service. That means having 60 story arcs a year, not just eight.

"To do that successfully you need to rely on fans."

With Assassin's Creed, Raymond and Ubisoft were focused on how to make a franchise that could be handed off to developers.

"With the next new IP I want to create a franchise that's ready to be handed over to fans.

"Instead of a game just being the next entertainment event, I'd like our next IP to be a widely shared past-time."


Comments

    I'm curious as to how much damage the brand sustained as a result of the DRM dilemma caused in AC2?
    AC1 on pc was magnificent but the DRM on 2 got some pretty bad press from it.

      That's not just AC2 though - the Ubi DRM lost them at least 4 sales from me (AC2, Settlers 7, PoP: Forgotten Sands, Splinter Cell Conviction, possibly future AC:B), and I'm sure I wasn't the only one - what with their PC releases dropping to something like 7% of their total revenue last report.

      I wonder if attempting something like a DRM-free bundle pack re-release might help regain some of their lost PC support (like the old Splinter Cell Trilogy removing Starforce) or if they just consider the PC to be a lost cause now.

        that said, how much have they lost out to piracy..

          Given that the franchise is quite big and it's on both 360 and PS3, I'd say in spite of the usual problems developers face with PC releases it's still quite healthy.

Join the discussion!