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Ubisoft CEO: 'We Think Wii U Will Be Successful'
Ubisoft CEO: 'We Think Wii U Will Be Successful'
November 7, 2011 | By Staff

November 7, 2011 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Even as hardware sales for Nintendo Wii decline, Ubisoft remains a strong supporter of the console. And why not? The Wii, despite its aging graphics and novel controls, is still the current-gen market leader with 90 million units sold.

That ability for Nintendo to reach mass markets is what has Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot sold on the Wii predecessor, the Wii U.

"We are big believers in the Wii U, on two subjects," Guillemot told Gamasutra as part of a larger interview. "One is for high-end games, where we'll be able to do a game for the Wii U, but also for other [high-definition] machines, but also with specific use of [Wii U's] tablet. Two, is we like the Wii U for all the [potential of] casual games."

Ubisoft is known for getting onto new gaming hardware early, and maxing out support while the initial offerings are sparse. It's the same strategy the Paris-based publisher used for Nintendo's Wii and 3DS, as well as Microsoft's Kinect sensor, to name a few.

But Ubisoft has also supported Nintendo beyond launch. The publisher is one of the few third-party companies that has been able to find major multi-platinum success this late in the Wii's life, thanks to a focus on the mass market gamer.

"Today, the Wii still is 45 percent of our business," Guillemot said. "Just Dance, all those casual games, are selling extremely well. So we are supporting the machine because we believe Nintendo is going to push it to another level. We think [Wii U] will be successful."

"Now to [what audience] will it be addressed? We don't exactly know yet," he conceded. "But the potential of the machine, and the tablet [controller], I think is a good way to improve the potential gameplay. What we see is the ease of play is a part of the revolution we are seeing today. The fact that it's easier to access games is what can make more people play. Maybe they can do a good job there."

Gamasutra will have more from Guillemot in larger interview on Tuesday.

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Lyon Medina
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Ubisoft is like the nice mom of the gaming space. Supports everybody and is always the first one to take a hit so that another platform could succeed. Least that's the way I catch it.

Steven Dorif
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The "graphics war" is all but over. The difference between the Xbox, PS3 graphics and those on the Wii, was like the massive difference between DVD's and the old VHS. The next step will be more like the difference between Blu-ray and DVD's, nice, noticeable, but somewhat over-hyped.

More processing power can make a difference, of course, but how much really? If gamers really cared for this kind of incremental increase in power, wouldn't more of them be playing on P.C.'s?

Bob Johnson
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Red Steel was the better game than the sequel. It just needed to be polished up from a technical standpoint. Suffered from being rushed to make launch. If they would have held out and spent 6 months polishing up the game proper they would have had another decent Wii franchise.

RS2 was a lame brawler type game.

I was hoping RS2 was going to be a polished RS1. So disappointed.

Just Dance far and away the vast majority of Ubi's business on the Wii. But this is a hits driven business.

RRR is their other Wii franchise that comes to mind.

Don't see how 3rd parties are going to make AAA core games on Wii U at least after the first year. Most of them will be 360/ps3 ports.

Russell Carroll
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On the list NPD released a few weeks back of the Top selling games of 2011 so far, Michael Jackson placed 11th. It's not selling Just Dance numbers (then again what is), but based on ranking I would guess that it is a good piece of Ubi's business on the Wii.

Additionally, their TV based games (Price is Right, Family Feud, Amazing Race, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, etc.) I see often appearing in Top 100 selling lists for various online retailers, and let's not forget the Rabbids, which was a Wii-created brand and has sold very well (multiple million+ sellers) over the years.

Rodney Brett
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Nintendo has this history of the public being skeptical about hardware when it's revealed, however, once it's in the developers hands and the users start to play the games, all of that skepticism goes away. The thing I always admired about Nintendo is that they don't just gather surveys and find out what people want and deliver that, rather they innovate and introduce new concepts for the gaming public to embrace. The fact that after the E3 reveal of the WiiU caused the stock to dip due to slight lack of confidence to me at least, is a GOOD thing. Means that the concept of the WiiU is no new and unfamiliar, that it's bound to break new ground.