It’s hard to ignore the success of Ubisoft. Eleven years ago near the launch of the Xbox, they were the house-that-Rayman built. A French company, founded in 1986 by the five Guillemot brothers, Ubisoft has risen rapidly in the last decade certainly as a publisher but especially as a developer.
It’s clearest how far Ubisoft has risen when the last two years in particular are reflected upon. Ubisoft stole the 2012 E3 with Watch Dogs. A game that they had managed to keep under wraps until it was revealed to an awestruck crowd. The following year, this past June, Ubisoft wowed the audience with The Division, The Crew, and returning favorites Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, and Splinter Cell.
Let us not forget Splinter Cell. Launched the year following the Xbox, Splinter Cell was a immensely successful game for Ubisoft. The third of a successful partnership with Tom Clancy including Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell was the game that catapulted the Xbox past being the system to play Halo on. Splinter Cell: Blacklist, the sixth title for home consoles, just launched to mostly rave reviews impressed with the melding of stealth to a more action-y gameplay.
It’s clear moving forward that Ubisoft is taking the leap straight into next-gen in a big way. While most other large developers have been quick to make games but change up very little, Ubisoft has taken the stance that Open-World is the wave of the future. From their biggest franchise Assassin’s Creed, to their newest franchises in Watch Dogs, The Crew and The Division; it’s clear that Ubisoft means to position itself in that small elite group of developers who matter to gamers, while also grabbing a bigger slice of market share. Quite frankly, with very few exceptions, Ubisoft has grabbed the pole position for next-gen and clearly means to hold on tight.