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Ubisoft exclusive: 'Watch Dogs', 'The Division' and making brand decisions

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Ubisoft is about to head into their 28th year as a company and over the years, they have brought some of the most memorable, entertaining gaming experiences of any company. Even now, when the organization inches closer to its 40th anniversary, they remain one of the most successful, influential publishers in gaming today.

This past year, the company released major AAA games such as: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Rayman Legends, Fighter Within, Just Dance 2014 and Rocksmith 2014 Edition.

Looking into 2014, and the meat of the next-generation of gaming, Ubisoft is once again a top company to keep an eye on as they are readying themselves for the major launches of Watch Dogs, South Park: The Stick of Truth, The Division, The Crew and many others.

So what are the steps and processes that Ubisoft takes when it comes to creating new brands and deciding on where to take existing franchises? had the opportunity to speak exclusively with Ubisoft North America President Laurent Detoc about these things and much more.

Watch Dogs and The Division are two of the most intriguing games slated to launch during 2014 and we asked Laurent how Ubisoft comes up with these types of ideas for new gaming franchises.

"While we would love for all of our new titles to be franchises, we do have some guidelines we follow that set-up a select number of games to be more long-term franchises. Our best franchises have been an outstanding combination of taking advantage of new technical breakthroughs as well as game play and a compelling story/character.

We have a blueprint strategy for our top-tier franchises where we really plan out the overall brand in terms of video games, comics, feature films, books, etc.

"As far as genre is concerned, we certainly look towards what areas of expertise we have gathered within our studios and what opportunities may be out there in the marketplace – Watch Dogs and The Division are excellent examples of this approach," Detoc said.

So when deciding on a new brand and the type of genre it will feature Ubisoft undoubtedly has their fingers on the pulses of consumers and must know what type of game they want most. When it comes to Ubisoft's intellectual properties (IP), just about all of their major AAA titles live in the open-world genre of gaming.

With that being said, we wanted to ask Detoc if consumers want open-world games the most and if it has become the unofficial calling card of Ubisoft.

"Ubisoft is a big believer in creating open-worlds where players are provided a vast landscape to explore in terms of game play and storyline.

"As of right now, our leading IP in the next generation are Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, The Division, Far Cry 3 and The Crew, all of which are based on an open-world game structure and while they’re each very different, we feel they will deliver a compelling experience that will appeal to a wide audience of players.

"Creating these worlds definitely takes a lot of time, resources and technical prowess and we’re confident our internal development studio system is up for the challenge," Detoc said.


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