Ubisoft To Nintendo: Sell More Systems And We’ll Make More Exclusives

Ubisoft To Nintendo: Sell More Systems And We’ll Make More Exclusives
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Ubisoft won’t release more games exclusive to the Wii U until Nintendo sells more Wii U systems, the president of the French gaming giant told Kotaku here at E3 this week. “We need more sold,” Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot said during a brief interview. “They are coming with five of their biggest brands ever. And the Yen went down. So maybe they will take steps that will increase the number of consoles sold.”

He was referring both to Nintendo’s franchise-stacked Smash-Bothers-Mario-Kart-Zelda E3 line-up and to an improving exchange rate that may help Nintendo diminish losses and improve profits. Sales on Nintendo’s new console have been mediocre at best.

The company behind Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance, Ubisoft supported the Wii U better than anyone else other than Nintendo last fall. Ubi released Wii U versions of some major games but also a Wii U exclusive, the critically-acclaimed first-person permadeath survival game ZombiU.

This fall, Ubisoft will release Wii U versions of Assassin’s Creed IV, Just Dance and Watch Dogs to Wii U, though none is exclusive to the system. The formerly-planned Wii U exclusive, Rayman Legends, is now also going to release on Xbox 360 and PS3 alongside Wii U by year’s end.

Guillemot acknowledged that Ubisoft’s focus on Wii U had changed. He suggested that the Wii U and its dedicated second screen in its controller was a good test bed for game concepts it is now applying to games on other consoles.

“Our job is to be agile,” he said. “We have to adapt the company to the potential of the market. So, what we did last year, was we knew we could learn second-screen with Nintendo, so we went full-speed to use this capacity the console was bringing. And we were able to develop Rayman, which will come at the end of this year and which is fantastic, using this second screen. What we saw is that, in learning that, we can also use it with the other consoles with [Xbox] Smart Glass, for example, and it’s a good option that is coming to us. If you look at us this year on Wii U we will have a lot of products.”

Notably, Ubisoft showed second-screen tablet functionality for its non-Wii U Xbox One and PS4 game The Crew during its E3 press conference on Monday. The company clearly loves second-screen gaming and is committed to that, if not to churning out Wii U exclusives.

Ah, but if you like ZombiU, here’s a flicker of hope that — future Wii U exclusives or not — there will be more. “We are still following the gameplay that was created [for that game,]” Guillemot said, “so you will see something emerge one day.


  • Nintendo to Ubisoft “Make more games that will make people buy our system”

    What this tells me is that Ubisoft are not confident enough in their games that they could move systems, just maintain the ownership of a console. Why does everyone knock Nintendo for its third party support yet turns around and expects them and ONLY them to actually move the system.

    • What this tells me is Nintendo needs to shift more consoles, quality games won’t singularly shift an overpriced console, a cheaper price will have a better effect in that manner. Worked for the ps3.

    • It’s not Ubisoft’s job to sell consoles for Nintendo. They’re already doing more than most 3rd party publishers with the likes of ZombiU, Assassin’s Creed and Rayman. Why should Ubisoft keep taking the risk of spending money to develop Wii U exclusives (or even Wii U games at all) if there’s nobody out there to buy them? Nintendo need to take responsibility for selling their own console.

    • How’s this for an alternative business model for Ubisoft- show a bit of confidence and release your games on Xbox but charge $450 each for them. That way you get to pocket the extra $350 that would have gone to Nintendo to sell their system which has no reason to buy it.

      I can’t believe they haven’t thought of that!

      • The frightening thing is that there are probably a lot of Xbros that would pay sort of money…

    • Yes and no, Nintendo needs to now do something sensible, with the PS4 in the same ballpark of price by the end of the year, the Wii U seriously needs to drop its price in a big way (by at least 100 bucks) or it’ll be a completely overpriced console in comparison. Once it does that, you’ll see a lot more units shift. It happened with the Wii, it sold a lot but when it got its initial pricecut, those goddamn things didn’t stay in the store at *all*. You couldn’t track down a Wii for over a damn year. Same thing could happen here if Ninty played it smart and cut the damn price ahead of the PS4/Xbone release.

  • I hope Nintendo understands how important Ubisoft is to them building some good third party support, i also hope Nintendo understands that they have to reduce the price of the WiiU this Christmas regardless of Super Mario 3D world (which comes out in December) or they are going to be in a lot of trouble.

      • I think part of the problem is that they might not have sold enough consoles to get the kind of economy of scale that would make it easier to cut the price. They may have to resign themselves to taking a hit on the hardware in order to jump start sales, similar to what they did with 3DS.

        • Look at the 3DS now though.

          I think we’ll see a similar development with the Wii U to what happened with the 3DS. Once we start getting those Nintendo games like the new Smash, new Zelda, and new Pokemon Stadium (or something), we’ll see an increase.

          Not to mention, Xbox has screwed the pooch. If they named the god damn thing “Nintendo U” or “Nintendo Revolution” or something, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

          I own a Wii U, and I really do like it. Monster Hunter 3 is enhanced by that second screen, and playing Super Metroid has never looked so good and been so convenient. SNES games on a small screen like that look like GBA games, and I don’t know about you, but GBA looks fantastic (I mean, it’s exaggeration, but you get the kind of aesthetic I’m talking about).

          I’m going to buy a PS4 as well, but I have to admit, Wii U has my vote on this gen. It’s a nice console that really doesn’t feel obnoxious; you don’t have to pay for online, and I don’t feel like I’m being fucked over by it or hindered by it.

          While the PS4 will undoubtedly be awesome, I feel like the online service will still hinder me a little. I feel like I’ll be a little put off forking my details over to PSN. I don’t know why, but I just feel like there is less convenience when dealing with really big entertainment/technology corporations like Sony and Microsoft. I don’t know, I’ll only know when I try it out.

          I know people tend to question the point of the gamepad, and at first I did to, but as I said, playing Monster Hunter 3 feels a lot more organized with that game pad. Navigating complex menus becomes a lot easier when you can just quickly touch through them. I think that’s just personal though.

          Boy this comment turned out longer than I hoped. Overall though, I think people should give the Wii U a chance. Regardless of it’s terrible marketing and shitting impressions it’s given to third party developers, the console they have made sits along side that of the 64 and the Gamecube.

          What’s good about this news is though, Nintendo will now have to make their first party games freakin amazing in order to sell the console to at attract the third parties. Sounds good to me.

          • I really want to get a Wii U – but I’m a cheapskate, I only paid $200 for my 360 FFS and that was years ago, if they can get the price around $300 for the black one, then they’re on my Xmas list, otherwise I’ll hold until they do and yeah, eventually when PS4 gets in the same zone I’ll get one of them as well.

  • Bit of a conundrum, since Nintendo’s support alone as a developer won’t exactly push the sales figures to extreme heights. So in that case it’s up to the consumer to take the plunge, in betting on there being a greater flow of games to the system. For that there’ll need to be a price drop.

    In the end if large companies like Ubisoft are going to take this position, then it’ll boil down to Nintendo’s pricing of the console. The Wii sold like a beast; personally it was an easy addition to the loungeroom because it was a family-oriented console at a really cheap price compared to the other gaming consoles of the generation.

  • At least at the moment you can make an NON-exclusive 3rd party game for the current gen and make sales across the 360/PS3/WiiU platform.

    Wait until 12 to 18 months when nobody gives a rats ass about this generation and developers have to choose between making a game using a next gen engine (Next Crytek/ Unreal 4/ Frostbite) and putting it on all three of the Xbone,PS4 and PC or making a Wii U game which won’t run those engines.

    Then the ONLY 3rd party games you’re going to get will be exclusives, which means the Wii U needs an install base to justify development for one platform against three….. The Wii had a massive install base and it still received only a handful of quality 3rd party releases.

    Basically WiiU owners better hope Nintendo delivers on their 1st party games!

  • It’s a vicious cycle – if the Wii U doesn’t get games, people won’t buy it. It’s the primary reason why the console is suffering. If this guy is waiting for the Wii U to sell more, he’s contributing to the problem. A lot of people are saying price point is the problem but if you ask around enough, I really don’t think that’s the biggest issue. Most people are talking games. If the Wii U doesn’t get a better library though, then yes, a price cut is the only way to increase sales. Even then, people won’t buy a cheap console if there aren’t games on it they want to play.

    • I think the price is the biggest part. Wii was successful despite being grossly underpowered because it was cheap. No one wants to buy a console that is grossly underpowered that is only $50 less than a PS4.

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