Ubisoft is moving away from narrative-driven experiences

Ubisoft wants to move away from heavily-scripted, narrative-driven games towards more freeform experiences, according to the publisher's chief creative officer Serge Hascoet. In an interview with Le Monde, Hascoet said that he wants Ubisoft games to resemble an "anecdote factory", and that titles allowing player expression outsell more linear titles.

This will show in the next Assassin's Creed, according to a translation via GamesIndustry.biz. "For the next Assassin's Creed, the designers have created a system in which what I do not only has meaning just now, but also long-term," he said. "My actions will change the world."

Hascoet also spoke of his distaste for too many cutscenes, according to this rough Google translation. "When there are cutscenes in a game, it bores me, because my ability to express myself is taken away," he said.

"During this time, I do not do what I want to do, [which is] to evolve in a world. I do not want to be told a story, I want there to be ten thousand [stories], that each character is one, and I can go and question him if I want, without being told [to do] it."

Ubisoft is already moving in this direction: the most recent Far Cry games offered some interesting emergent gameplay, while Rainbow Six Siege is definitely an "anecdote factory". The forthcoming open world extreme sports sim Steep also looks like a step in that direction, though we won't know for sure until it releases next month.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.