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Ubisoft's Guillemot: If Wii U hits the 'right price' it'll have a chance
Ubisoft's Guillemot: If Wii U hits the 'right price' it'll have a chance
June 18, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

June 18, 2014 | By Christian Nutt
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"With Mario Kart, Wii U made one step and we expect with Smash Bros. it will also do more. If Nintendo put the right price on the machine then they will probably have a chance to do further."
- Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot on the Wii U

It came out during E3 that Ubisoft -- a staunch supporter of Nintendo in the run-up to the Wii U's launch -- is sitting on a finished game, waiting for the system's installed base to grow.

"We have another couple of products that we are waiting to launch, specifically we have one game that we wait for the machine to be more mass-market to launch... We have a game that has been done for six months. It's on the shelf, waiting for more families to have the console," Guillemot told Polygon last week.

After a successful launch for Mario Kart 8, the big publisher's CEO is a tick more optimistic for the console's chances, it seems -- judging from comments he made to CVG. As long as Nintendo drops its price, that is.

Post-launch, Ubisoft's love is conditional: "We are [actively supporting Wii U] with the few games we have coming this year, but we are also waiting for them to achieve more sales so that we can invest more," Guillemot told CVG.


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Comments


George Menhal III
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Besides Rayman Legends, I don't see that Ubisoft has released or is planning to release ANYTHING for Wii U that is worth my time or money.

The arrogance of "our love is conditional based on sales" is staggering, considering they don't even bother to release good games in the first place. No one bought, nor are they going to buy, a Wii U to play Ubisoft games.

Ian Uniacke
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Ubisoft was quite supportive at launch but didn't get the sales that they needed. Zombie U was a really great game that just didn't get good sales for example. They also created (from what I heard) the best version of Assassin's Creed 3 for the Wii U. I think of all the companies, Ubisoft has traditionally the one to take chances on Nintendo devices so I don't think it's fair to brand them this way.

Merc Hoffner
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It's also asymmetric.

Considering Xbox One actually has the smallest install base, and as of right now has the slowest sales rate, can we expect that Ubi will start suspending games from Microsoft as well?

It's hard to be critical, when at least Ubisoft has supported a given system the best of all 3rd parties by far (or perhaps it's easier to say the least bad by far), and was one of very few companies to have the foresight to not systemically ignore the number 1 platform last gen, but this news is frustrating: You can't establish platforms, your very lifeblood, without following through with games - and that applies to 3rd parties as much as 1st. Nowadays you're gonna lose money in the early days of every platform either way. It's called investment.

You ever hear this joke?
James prays to God every day for 20 years: "please God, let me win the lottery!"
Finally God appears to the man in a vision: "James, you have to meet me half way and at least buy a ticket!"

Ian Fisch
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The arrogance of "our love is conditional based on sales"?

They're running a business. They're not going to make games for a system who's userbase isn't big enough to support them.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Ian Fisch - Actually, the userbase for the Wii U is greater than that of the Xbox One, but none of this would be an issue if Ubisoft just focused on doing games for PS4 only. At least, it would have kept things more honest. When a company indirectly claims that it doesn't want to do games for the Wii U due to having a lower userbase but does games for Xbox One (which has a lower userbase), then the company is being dishonest and this level of dishonesty is no better than the level of dishonesty of claiming that women are harder to animate.

George Menhal III
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@Ian:

Correct. And my point is that I care about games and Ubisoft cares about money. My value system is at odds with theirs.

And what Jeferson said is correct. The Wii U currently has a larger userbase than the Xbox One. Ubisoft is constantly passing the buck and putting blame where it doesn't belong. A great, shining example is the pitiful Zombi U, which is bland, repetitive, lacking in creativity, and honestly not worth much of a time investment on the player's behalf because it lacks any built-in, designed incentive to continue pushing the player forward.

Ubisoft released a poor quality game at launch and then acted as if they were shocked that the game didn't sell very well, when it was roundly disregarded by critics and YouTubers alike for all the same reasons I mentioned above. Ubi just claimed the install base for the system wasn't high enough, so their game didn't sell.

So back to the first point. They release poor quality games lacking in creativity and I guess they hope if they put their stuff on as many platforms as possible they can dupe enough people into plunking down $60 for it, until a profit has been turned. Guaranteed that Watchdogs for Wii U will follow a similar trajectory when it releases later this year. It will be a gimped version that didn't receive as much in development resources, it won't sell, and Ubisoft will blame Nintendo.

(By the way we met before through email about a month ago. I was the Darkseas applicant! Good to put a face to the name.)

Chris Hendricks
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On one hand, I think the Wii U's current price is the correct value for the console, and think that a call for a price drop right now is misguided. However, Ubisoft has not had a good return on investment with the Wii U so far (I can't think of a third-party studio that's invested more into it than they have), so they reserve the right to make comments like this.

Really, it's more a matter of finding a larger audience. If the larger audience is found at the current price, the smaller price point is unnecessary.

Merc Hoffner
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That is perfectly rational, but if third parties were perfectly rational, they would have dropped the 360 and PS3 years ago - the economics had largely been abominable for years. To apply the logic in one case and not another is a problem. Unfortunately it's a terrible argument to make here because Ubisoft have done literally an infinitely better job regarding Nintendo than many others.

I reserve my bile for EA: they'll simultaneously cite poor economics for their lack of Nintendo support on one hand, while losing hundreds of millions on other platforms with the other hand.

Ian Fisch
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A call for a price drop is misguided? It's $300 for the most basic model. That's close to the same price as PS4.

They should ditch the costly gamepad and sell it for $200. The increase in userbase size would probably be enough for Ubisoft and others to make games for the platform.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Ian Fisch - Actually, the PS4 basic model is $400. The Wii U Deluxe Set is $300 unless it is the Mario Kart 8 bundle, which is $330. Either way, the Wii U is still cheaper than the PS4 and the current Wii U price tag is not even close to the base price of the PS4, but there are fans that like to buy both systems and that have no problems with the current price tags of the systems. Also, the Wii U Gamepad is part of the Wii U and it would be a stupid idea to ditch a controller that's part of the system (especially one that transforms the TV into a giant DS). If anything, the Wii U should have come with the Wii Remote from the beginning to show that the Wii Remote was/is still important to Nintendo's strategy. That has been somewhat remedied with the Mario Kart 8 bundle, but it would be good to see more future Wii U bundles come with the Wii Remote.

Justin Kovac
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The Wii U hardware is less than $250 with the bundles (Assuming you want MK8 + accessories or NSMB U + Luigi U). Price is not the only thing that is going to get it to sell.


Jeferson Soler
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@ Justin Kovac - "Price is not the only thing that is going to get it to sell." Mario Kart 8 can vouch for that and that's just for starters.

Jim Burns
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Ubisoft is so hypocritical


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