Ubisoft are looking at being pioneers for another emerging technology.
Earlier today, we reported that Capcom had announced that the inclusion of VR in the upcoming Resident Evil 7 had led to some increased development costs. It looks like VR leading to increased costs seems to be a general trend, but it seems like Ubisoft is already looking to get ahead of it.
“Even with Eagle Flight or with Star Trek VR, we think that ultimately during the life of the game that they will be profitable,” said Ubisoft’s head of EMEA, Alain Corr to GamesIndustry.biz. “Because we’re very early on… with good quality products they will sell to a certain level based on the installed base within the first year, so there’s a limitation but if the games are good they will remain [in the charts]. The first games that come out for a new technology are associated with this technology and it remains in the mind of the people moving forward so we can imagine that these games will last 2-3 years and will become interesting back catalogue titles for future adopters of VR technology,” he noted.
He also discussed why the company is, for now, favoring putting smaller and more experimental titles on VR rather than top, leading AAA franchises like Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry.
“It’s less risky but it’s also, at the moment, less rewarding if the game is super successful because there’s a limitation in the installed base. But all in all we feel it’s important for us to learn and to try to understand what we can do in terms of creation. What are the limits of [VR] and what will the fans enjoy and want and prefer? So we have to invest, not massive amounts of money yet, but on certain franchises and to build new franchises and new gameplay so that we’re ready when this market will explode and we believe it will explode at some point,” he finished.
That’s as candid (and confident) an assessment as any, and I can’t say that I really can blame Ubisoft for wanting to dip their toes in the pool first before committing full time to the technology. VR seems exciting right now, sure, but as it stands, we haven’t seen much mainstream excitement for it. Some caution is warranted.