I hope Watch_Dogs is as sweet as it looks, because we’re going to see more of it. We’ll also see more of The Division, and more of, you guessed it, Assassin’s Creed, for as long as they’re profitable.
When asked whether Watch_Dogs would spawn a sequel in an interview last week, Ubisoft’s Tony Key, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, told The A List Daily, “That’s what all our games are about; we won’t even start if we don’t think we can build a franchise out of it.”
According to Key, the cost of game development is now so great that Ubisoft doesn’t see standalone titles as worth the risk. A bit less than a month ago, Key told IGN to expect more Far Cry, saying that fans “will be really excited when we finally show them another one.” Assassin’s Creed is already an annual franchise. Even Ubisoft’s games outside the core titles manage this with titles like Just Dance having a new offering year after year.
We’re seeing this all over the place as big publishers of things like games and movies increase budgets and become more and more risk averse. I love Ubisoft games, but it’s disheartening to hear that they’re just entirely uninterested in properties they can’t turn into cash cows. Ubisoft isn’t necessarily against new franchises, they’re just against non-franchises. That probably explains why it’s been so tough to get Beyond Good & Evil 2 out of them.