Yannis Mallat , the CEO of Ubisoft Montreal has thrown his two cents into the always-on argument flames that have raged across the internet in recent weeks thanks to comments by both ex-Microsoft creative director Adam Orth and Epic Games alumni, Cliff Blezinski, suggesting that a lot of people are ready for always-on consoles.
Mallat said these words during an interview with The Guardian, though he did attempt to step around the question, suggesting that it was more of a question that should be put to Microsoft or Sony. However he weighed in anyway, saying: “I would say that a lot of people are already always online through other devices – I would suspect that the audience is ready. As soon as players don’t have to worry, then they will only take into account the benefits that those services bring.”
Of course worry is what a lot of players have been doing throughout debacles with Diablo III’s always online system, as well as the one used for Sim City, two games that many critics suggested should have had traditional, offline single player components to their gameplay.
Mallat did qualify that he believed always-on needed to show its benefits more than it is at the moment.
“We used to say that we’re not competing against other games, we’re competing for leisure time. We have to craft our experiences around the way people are now consuming entertainment. For example, with the online multiplayer aspects of a game, we can say – and this is true already of Watch Dogs – that the next generation will help us to blur the lines between on and offline play and between single and multiplayer. It will be a totally new way to play.”
Presumably in this way, he’s talking about some sort of multiplayer interaction within the single player world. Again though, unless those player actions need to be happening live, while you’re playing, then they could be downloaded before or after play and you wouldn’t need to be always online.
KitGuru Says: What’s interesting about this interview, is that Ubisoft Montreal made the decision back in 2011, that it wouldn’t continue using the much hated, always-on DRM found in Assassin’s Creed II, for the upcoming (at the time) Assassin’s Creed Revelations. Why the about face?