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Ubisoft Developer Says ‘Linear Story Games Will Suffer In Modern Marketplace’

Far Cry 4’s creative director Alex Hutchinson believes that traditionally linear story based titles that we are all used to will eventually lose appeal with consumers. Hutchinson thinks that big open world games are the way forward giving consumers a choice about how they go about approaching the world presented to them.

“I’m really interested in emergent games and where that’s going with video sharing and Twitch. I think linear story games are really going to suffer in the modern marketplace.

“They’re already super high-quality, and we’re already seeing their audiences migrate to the big open world games. If I open my friends list and see everybody on the same mission, doing the same thing… I think that’s nowhere near as strong a sales pitch as opening your friends list and seeing 40 people doing completely different things.”

43 thoughts on “Ubisoft Developer Says ‘Linear Story Games Will Suffer In Modern Marketplace’”

  1. But I love the liner stories.
    1. The story makes more sense
    2. Where to go next is easy to find
    3. Non-liner gets boring after awhile

    That’s my couple of cents.

  2. 1.Screw you guys
    2.Oh yeah because Minecraft has the most complex story ever right? New Super Mario bros U had a totally interesting and deep narration right?
    3.Screw You guys.

    1. Nintendo Second-Lieutenant Haruhi

      I found it pretty exciting unlocking new areas in Mario 64. Every story driven’ game is restricted to some form of linearity. They’re a lot easier to fnish 100% too. GTA5, Skyrim and Fallout while having a seemingly 100% open world; many of the quests and areas have prerequisites being skill level and such. Nintendo is late to the party as always, but they too, are learning the open world game.

  3. I’d have to agree. I hate linear stories (2D Mario games). Its getting old :p. Games like Animal Crossing/Brain Age are fine though.

  4. Here is the thing: it depends on the game. Linear stories may or may not be the best option for your game, but that depends on what you want to create, convey and express, and how much of the final result achieves to do so. You can’t say it is a trend that is going to disappear, nor that it is never leaving.

    For every Skyrim fan there is a Tales of fan, and that’s what makes the gaming industry so diversificate. You can’t just assume everyone wants open worlds and do not want linear story anymore. You will certainly have players that prefer open worlds for certain titles and wish others were more linear – just because you like one thing doesn’t mean you can’t like another.

    Me, for example, I love Metroid games for their non-linear experience and story telling through the scenario, but I also love Tales of games for the linear way of telling their stories and cutscenes!

    1. Well said. I couldn’t have said that any better.

      For UBI to come out with this statement just shows true ignorance and a weak understanding of gamer needs and what’s right for the industry.

      For gaming to survive and prosper we need variation, different styles of games with different art designs etc.

      Sometimes when I get home from work I’m shattered, so I prefer playing a game without too much thinking, perhaps MK8 or DKCTF, but at the weekend when I’m fresh I might play Metroid Prime, Xenoblade or Zelda or Luigi’s Mansion. All depends on my mood.

  5. I don’t mind having a game with a good story from time to time.
    But if a game has no story and I still find it “fun” I’m going to play it.
    Simple as that.
    No one should rate a game based solely on whether it has a good story or not.
    I mean how many people play Pokemon games for the story rather than the gameplay? No one really.

  6. There’s surely space in the market for both types of game, right? Open-world games are great, but linear games gives the developer a lot more control in delivering a phenomenal story. Portal 2 for example is a game that has a fantastic story told in a very well-designed way. It’s able to deliver that experience to you BECAUSE it’s linear – such a game would not be possible any other way.

    1. And incidentally it’s very typical of Ubisoft (as well as other big Western developers) to look at a few currently successful games and then decide “Yes, every game needs to be like these”. It’s that kind of attitude that has ensured that there is a very big lack of variety in the gaming market at the moment.

  7. I wish these developers would just shut the fuck up already.
    YAP YAP YAP… do they even know what the next direction of gaming will be?
    Nope… they think open world is the apex of gaming. It might appear that way right now but it’s not for certain. Linear gaming will always have a place because not everyone has time to sit in a room to play several hours of a game.

  8. You’d have to be a social gamer to even care. I’m not that social. I’d rather post among all the strangers here about real world things that matter to me. Social gaming is just not my thing. I play to experience a work of art that is also fun and engaging. Exploring game worlds is not something I’m going to be doing unless exploring relates to an actual story that I care about. Devil’s Third online features slightly better than mildly intrigues me, and Splattoon’s online play (for obvious reasons, similar to online play with Mario Kart) greatly intrigues me.

  9. I like JRPGs and for me the perfect example of good balance between the 2 is Xenoblade. Amazing story and huge open world but it’s all working well together. Without a great story I get bored, stop playing and never play again (Skyrim)

    1. Agreed. I think Xenoblade marries the two elements perfectly. You have to have some linearity or else story suffers too greatly. Besides, I believe realistic open world games are flooding the market. What someone needs to make is an open world with an amazing artstyle, thats not grey and realistic… Oh wait, Zelda U.

  10. The thing is, developers do not get to choose which way gaming goes. The have never had that power, and never will. I personally believe open world games are becoming stale.

    It is much easier for developers to create an open world game. Less time and effort goes into creating a giant sandbox game. There are no levels, no bosses, little story, and no change of scenery really. Of course Ubisoft wants open world games to rule the market. Skyrim and a few others are exceptions.

  11. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! fuck that! There is always room in the gaming market, as well as my heart for linear story based games!! I will never leave my Halos, my Uncharteds, Gears of War, Pokemon, or the thousands of game sthat arent some huge open world. If every game is an open world game with no linear story or gameplay, the market will be oversaturated with those kind of games, and people will crave the more linear cinematic games again.

  12. That’s why one of the top games from 2012 to current times is The episodic game series of The Walking Dead which get great reviews on every review and great sales. Even Telltales latest A Wolf Among Us.

  13. No Ubisoft, you just suck at making good games. A good linear game will be a million times better than a non-linear game because we aren’t at the point where we can make truly non linear games. Especially not when we take into account the big publishers idiotic logic that everyone should be able to experience 100% of the game without having to actual get good for it.

    That’s why we have no secrets, idiots don’t like exploring and it’s not fair that they don’t find it. That’s why we have no unlockables that are unlocked by doing some really hard shit. The casual who doesn’t want to play a game but would rather watch a movie won’t be able to unlock it, so we will make it a DLC. Cheats and costumes which were once unlockables are not DLC. Gameplay is shit because muh cinematic experience, fps is shit because much cinematic experience and look at damn graphix son!

    No Ubisoft, you’re just cancer and someone should drop a nuke on you because medical amount of radiation won’t “cure” you.

  14. Can someone please explain to me what linear means? I hear this word all the time when referring to video games, and I really don’t understand what it means?

    1. Linear stories, you go from point A to point B and then it’s over.

      Nonlinear stories, you go from point B to point A, and then to point C and then to point D or maybe from point B to point J and then from point J to point K or maybe you go from point K to point D. Basically, there are multiple different plot points to follow. A lot of times a nonlinear story will have a MAIN plot where you do go from point A to point B, but in between you have a bunch of little plots as well.

      Example of linear game: Super Mario Galaxy 1 or 2 (you can’t change the order in which you play each level).

      Example of nonlinear game: Assasin’s Creed IV (you can play the game’s missions in which ever order you want).

      By definition, games like Mario Kart and Nintendoland are nonlinear, because you can choose the path that you want to head down, but games like Injustice and Pikmin are set in stone.

  15. Whatever you say, Michael Pachter! Wait!! Is that you, Ubishit!? Oh I’m sorry! I thought you were Pachter pulling another prediction from your ass!

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