Ubisoft has done a great job over the years with its franchises, from the “killer” Assassin’s Creed series (which just added a new chapter yesterday) to Far Cry to the casual-friendly Just Dance series. And while we wait for specifics of what the company has planned for the year with its E3 presentation next month, we do have a good idea where it’ll be going next – the virtual realm.
Ars Technica recently reported that the company is looking into bringing some of its franchises for virtual reality platforms, which could launch as soon as the first half of 2016. Certain titles weren’t mentioned, but gamers are no doubt excited about the possibilities with such titles as Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry.
“We believe a lot in virtual reality because we see that it is really giving a chance for gamers to be more immersed in worlds, and we are developing a certain number of games that are going to take advantage of these new possibilities,” said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, during the company’s recent earnings call. “We are working on the different brands we have to see how we can take advantage of those new possibilities, but making sure also we don’t suffer from what comes with it, which is the difficulty to play a long time with those games.”
Other publishers have shown some concern over long-term play with these devices, since virtual effects could easily harm some gamers, as Nintendo’s Virtual Boy proved long ago. Take-Two president and CEO Strauss Zelnick voiced such concerns recently. “We are concerned that you’ll play our games for a long period of time – we don’t want people getting nauseated . . . and also, having had the experience, I’m not sure how long you want an immersive headset on your head.”
Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen also voiced concerns during the recent UBS Global Technology Conference, stating that VR tech needs to improve “to make sure people enjoy it but don’t get sick by it too quickly.”
That isn’t stopping Ubisoft from making plans, though. “We are very bullish about the potential,” continued Guillemot. “We think it is going to bring more players to the universe of video games, and we are going to come with our brands. We will have a few titles in the first year and we will have regular games coming following that.”
Certain devices weren’t mentioned, but it’s likely that Sony’s Project Morpheus and the Oculus Rift will be on the list, amongst others.
Ubisoft has had a good year, showing a revenue increase of 45 percent over the previous year, with a profit of $125.8 million. That’s a pick-up from its losses from the year before, so that’s good news for its virtual plans.