In anticipation of the July 31 release of Columbia Pictures’ and Sony Pictures Animation’s 3D hybrid live-action/animated family comedy The Smurfs 2, today Ubisoft announced that the company will develop and publish a video game based on the film. Developed by Ubisoft and WayForward, the game will be released as an action-adventure platformer game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Wii and Wii U, as well as an interactive storytelling book and collection of mini-games on Nintendo DS. It will release on all consoles in July, 2013.
As fans know, Rayman Legends was originally meant for a Wii U release in February, but the decision to delay the game was made by Ubisoft, who wanted to release the Wii U version along with the Xbox and PS3 versions. Now, Rayman’s game designer Michel Ancel has said he ‘wasn’t shocked by the backlash’ in an interview with the Official Nintendo Magazine.
He continued: ”No, I wasn’t shocked, but it was really hard for us. Of course, there are more important issues and problems in the world but we worked really hard to make something and were so involved, it was difficult for us and the fans.”
But with the extended time, Ancel and senior game manager Michael Micholic have worked on adding 30 extra levels and a few boss battles to make it up to the fans. Rayman Legends will be released in September and you can check out information on an upcoming demo for it here.
Ubisoft brings Rayman Legends online for the first time with a new demo, including the full online challenge mode. The online challenge mode is made up of four levels, including “Murfy’s Dungeon,” exclusive to Wii U. New challenges are added daily and weekly, and each comes with its own individual leaderboards. The demo will be available in late April.
Ubisoft Montreal boss Yannis Mallat firmly believes that gamers want a new Assassin’s Creed game every year. Mallat says that consumers will tell the company once they have had enough of the popular franchise, but he doesn’t see that day coming. Ubisoft say that they have plenty of high quality content for future Assassin’s Creed games and he doesn’t envision that changing. Here’s what he had to say.
“No. The players will tell us. Right now there are more and more coming into the franchise, so I don’t see that day.”
“It’s our breakthrough. When you have quality content, the frequency of coming out with the game is not an issue at all. On the contrary, people expect more and more of that content. So it’s natural to be able to provide that content. The gamers are happy and it’s our job to make them happy.”
Ubisoft has announced that it has released a patch for the well-received ZombiU. The patch fixes a number of issues that have plagued the game since it launched alongside Wii U on November 18th. The main problem that the patch addresses is the issue where players are unable to progress through a nursery section because a door couldn’t be opened if they had followed specific steps. Here’s the rest of the fixes the patch addresses:
- On Mission 12, in the Nursery MAP, the interaction with the door in the basement of nursery was missing at rebirth if specific steps were followed.
- On Mission 13, in the Gas Station MAP, a Mission object that is mandatory to complete the objective was missing if specific steps were followed.
- On Mission 14, in the Circus MAP, if the player died right after recovering his Backpack, and rebooted the Wii U console, the objective was not updated.
- On Mission 15, in the Bunker MAP, the Panacea disappeared after the Player died while downloading it. However the objective remained the same (download Panacea).
- On Mission 10, in the Tower MAP, the Objective “Secure landing site” was not validated if specific steps were followed.
- On Mission 15, in the Bunker MAP, if specific steps were followed, the Player might get stuck in the Bunker after he took Doctor’s eye / Panacea because a Ladder disappeared.
- On Mission 16, in the MAP Safe House, the iron curtain in the Safe House lacked of collision during Mission 16. This Bug could lead to a scoring exploit on leaderboards.
- In the Safe House MAP, the Player saw a placeholder text when he dragged & dropped an item from the Blue Box to his holsters following certain steps.
- On Mission 12 or 15, in the Nursery MAP, the game crashed if the Player burned the Zombi Nurse while she died.
- Zombies animations transitions.
- Online messages spawned in the first section of the MAPs.
- Scanner’s start volume.
- Uplay cricket bat Cast Shadow has been removed.
- Optimizations of the framerate”
Ubisoft has just uploaded trailer for its long-awaited Watch Dogs. This new trailer mirrors the demo shown at Sony’s PlayStation 4 conference, but this time through the eyes of the ctOS, which is the central mainframe that controls the city of Chicago. Watch Dogs is coming to all consoles this holiday season.
Ubisoft’s Toronto Studio boss Jade Raymond believes that the video game market can only support ten successful triple-A games a year. Raymond says that new business models and the rise of free to play smartphone titles has significantly reduced the scope for full-price triple-A sales in the current video game market.
“I think there’s still room for really great triple-A games that can, despite the budget, retain the classic model of expecting people to pay in one big chunk. There’s still room for that.”
“But the big publishers have to be honest with themselves – there’s only room for let’s say ten successful titles a year on those sorts of budgets. So you have to go all-in on those; you have to be sure you’ll have a hit, and when you make it you have to invest everything to make sure it’s amazing.”
“The audience for games is becoming broader and even core gamers who are used to buying games in boxes, are spending more of their time on mobile. So whether it’s long term gamers or the new generation who started out by playing free games on the web or mobile, we have a whole bunch of people who’ve been trained to think differently about the way they spend money on games.”
“There’s an expectation to be able to try for free, and only spend money if they want to. We have to figure out how to make that type of thing work with console games as well.”
Xavier Poix, head of Ubisoft France, has talked at length about his thoughts on the Wii U and the importance of the Wii U GamePad. Poix says that the company knew that Nintendo would have a hard job getting the message across with the system compared to the original Wii. You can read this thoughts about the Wii U and video games in general, below.
“It’s a long-term strategy for us. The first way it helps is you’re starting very soon on the new system. When the others are just starting you’ll be on your second or third iteration; that means productivity-wise when there is a new engine, etc. etc, you’ll go faster. It’s also a question of market share. Our goal on the Wii U-and we did that on the Wii as well-it’s a great opportunity to create new brands because at this time people are expecting new stuff,”
“If you arrive with good innovations supported by the console then you’re potentially creating something really new to appeal to players and then you can build a brand upon it, like we did with Rabbids and a bit earlier with Just Dance, and like we did with Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. On the other hand, you’re speaking of big investments, everything depends on the console itself. On the Wii U for instance, the level of the Wii U hardware is a little bit higher than Xbox 360 or PS3, but it was more about using the new GamePad and finding new designs for games, asymmetrical etc.”
“One thing for sure we knew is that this new controller would be something harder to convey than the Wii, which was about the movements in your game, so we knew we needed to educate people around this GamePad idea. We strongly believe that people have not yet realized the importance of the gameplay that this can provide, but for sure they need the good games to support the system. And they need the installed base to gain more support, which is not the case yet,” he noted. “For our games we really wanted to show the innovation. In ZombiU for instance, the players are really fond of the multiplayer mode because it’s totally new; it’s like one FPS player against an RTS player. On the second screen approach… We pushed the limits of that so it can be a real gameplay challenge to look at two screens.”
“We don’t have any disappointments compared to the installed base. We are just hoping that Nintendo’s results for Wii U will be a bit bigger, like Iwata-san said,” he commented. “Selling a new way of playing can take some time, and we know the power of the brands from Nintendo and we know from the fans that the majority of what will be the system sellers are not yet available. And on our side, Rayman will be one of them for sure. We really expect Rayman to be a huge system seller on the console.”
Ubisoft has brought its fantastic sale over to Europe with a number of high-profile Wii U games being reduced in price. Assassin’s Creed 3 was £54.99, but it is now £29.99. The well received ZombiU has also discounted to £29.99. The Ubisoft Wii U eShop sale lasts until April 4th. One big thing to note is Wii U Premium owners will get the full compliment of points by buying any games on sale.
- Zombie U: Now £29.99 Was £54.99
- Assassins Creed 3 Now £29.99 Was £54.99
- Just Dance 4: Now £19.99 Was £39.99
- Rabbids Land: Now £19.99 Was £39.99
- Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth: Now £19.99 Was £39.99
- Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013: Now £19.99 Was £39.99
- Sports Connection: Now £19.99 Was £39.99
It looks as though Ubisoft is making another Assassin’s Creed title which is named Assassin’s Creed: Rising Phoenix. Rising Phoenix is apparently being created by Ubisoft Digital Arts cinema creation studio. There’s no information on the mysterious title other than the leaked concept logo. Rising Phoenix could be for consoles, but it could also be for mobile platforms, Facebook, or a CGI film.