With the release of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and WiiU, what was once “next-gen” has become “current gen” and what was once “current gen” has become “last gen”. However, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have been selling really well and both just recently released an AAA- exclusive blockbuster in inFamous: Second Son and Titanfall, respectively, some gamers are still worried about what the companies’ plans are towards supporting last gen consoles, especially with games such as Assassin’s Creed Unity being supported on current gen systems only. However, in an interview with Edge, Ubisoft vice president of creative Lionel Raynaud stated that Ubisoft still has plans for supporting last gen systems “for years to come”.
We will have games for PS3 and 360 for this year and probably the years after
“We will have games for PS3 and 360 for this year and probably the years after. We want to be able to provide games to people who are playing on these consoles. Black Flag was the first Assassin’s Creed game of this new generation but it was designed with that in mind, but I wouldn’t say it was a cross-generation game, as it has features that could only be for this generation.”
When asked if he felt designing for last gen systems was restrictive, especially in regards to current gen systems being significantly more powerful, Reynaud simply shrugged and said, ““It’s a choice – even when you do a game that has old-gen and new-gen versions, we decide which one is lead…We never made choices on Assassin’s Creed or Watch Dogs where because we have this other generation we couldn’t put something in the game. It would be a very bad call from a company and brand perspective.”
Reynaud also said that the developers were still working on improvement, saying, “The team that has been working on PS4 and Xbox One on Black Flag have already learned and they are still learning. It’s not only about visuals, it‘s going to be about connectivity and the fact that these consoles are always online. That allows us to create more surprising experiences that exploit that… This will keep on improving for a very long time, actually.”
His reference towards connectivity and always online was a sentiment echoed by Jade Raymond, managing director of Ubisoft Toronto. Speaking to Examiner, Raymond said, “To me it’s the new level of connectivity and that’s really what players want. I think it’s all about communities these days, it’s also about self-expression, how do I play the game, what’s my gameplay experience, how do I share it with people.”
Raymond continued by mentioning new technologies that have caught on such as Twitch streaming. “Obviously with the integration of Twitch, and the different ways to share the games you’re playing, even if they’re single player, [you] can have an influence on other people’s games. I think all of those things that have to do with the connected experience are really the evolution for this new generation.”