If there’s one thing that Ubisoft is good at, it’s recycling gameplay engines. Sure, it can look cheap and old sometimes, but hey, it’s also great for keeping costs down on games with budgets so big, you could afford to buy several African countries with the cash, pave them over and sell them to the Chinese as a parking lot and I’m drifting again! Ubisoft has a new gameplay engine coming up. And it’s going to be everywhere within the next couple of years.
Speaking with GI International, Ubisoft managing director Nicolas Rioux explained that he expects the company to have “mostly the same engine running on tablet and the main console,” within the next three to four years.
“In the future, it will be easier for us to provide this kind of experience,” Rioux said, adding that he also felt that the addition of a second screen would be a more common extension of games in the future, whether they be console peripherals, tablets or smartphones.
What I like in second-screen play is its accessibility, which means different types of people can play. Those who don’t know how to play with the [controller] or don’t like to play with it can use touch. So that’s the first good element.
It gives you an opportunity to play from outside the home with your friends who are playing from their homes. So I’m in an airport, and I can play with my friends using my iPad if I have a good connection. We think this is going to open lots of new possibilities to the industry, and to the type of gameplay that can occur.
Rioux also felt that this new manner of gaming, wouldn’t alienate current gamers, as the full experience of a game would still be available on their chosen platform. “For the person playing on the tablet, maybe for him that game is more accessible. Honestly, we give the players new opportunities,” Rioux said.
It’s not a big issue for console players to play the tablet version to have a more complete experience. I’m a console player and a gamer on tablets; for me to have these new possibilities is not a constraint.
It’s not a bad idea in theory, but it’s also an ide that needs to feel like more than just a quick gimmick. Take Bayonetta 2 for instance. I loved that I could play the game on the smaller Wii U screen, even if it was a touch too easy with the touch pad controls.
But it does expand a game. And honestly, more gamers on whatever platform isn’t a bad thing at all.