According to Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot, the long lifecycle of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 has held back creativity in the industry, in part due to risk factors on new projects being increased over time.
Speaking to Gamasutra, he argued that it is less risky to create new IPs at the beginning of a console’s lifecycle. “What we missed was a new console every five years,” Guillemot said. “We have been penalized by the lack of new consoles on the market. I understand the manufacturers don’t want them too often because it’s expensive, but it’s important for the entire industry to have new consoles because it helps creativity.”
“It’s a lot less risky for us to create new IPs and new products when we’re in the beginning of a new generation. Our customers are very open to new things. Our customers are reopening their minds — and they are really going after what’s best” he added. “At the end of a console generation, they want new stuff, but they don’t buy new stuff as much. They know their friends will play Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed so they go for that. So the end of a cycle is very difficult.”
However, this doesn’t mean that creativity is completely absent this far into the console life cycles—there are still some developers/publishers willing to take a risk on new properties, which is needed to prevent players from getting bored. If all we got were Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty games each year, then the industry would be a lot worse off.
“If you can’t take risks because people don’t buy, you don’t innovate. And if you don’t innovate, customers get bored,” Guillemot concluded.
Do you think that creativity has suffered? Let us know in the comments below.