In an interview with MCV, Ubisoft EMEA executive director Alain Corre championed the capability that Google’s streaming platform Stadia has to disrupt and evolve the conventions of video game production and consumption.
Ubisoft has a keen investment in the future of its properties, and how best to serve its interests based on new technologies and new business models. Its collaboration with Stadia has meant that six Ubisoft games are confirmed for the platform, and it’s likely that more will follow in Stadia’s planned monthly updates. Corre explained why Ubisoft is so dedicated to Stadia, and how it believes that the streaming service approach is the next frontier of gaming.
He cited the company’s record of welcoming new technologies with open arms as the core motivator of its partnership with Google. ‘We have moved very early on a lot of new technologies in the past, whether it’s the Wii with the Wiimote or the Kinect for example. And we feel that streaming and cloud gaming technologies are bringing something additional to our industry,’ Corre stated. ‘We like the idea of the consumer having more options to consume games. Whether they consume traditionally by buying a physical game, by downloading, or if they prefer to stream games, it’s giving them new possibilities. And we will attract new categories of players thanks to this.’
‘So streaming will give us two things. First is the possibility to create different games,’ he explained. ‘With the capacities of the servers in the cloud, we’ll be able to bring a new generation of games in a few years. The servers will help our creators to put more AI into games, more characters, more NPCs. And that will be I think a real disruption.’
Corre also mentioned that purchasing physical goods, be they hardware or games, is not always the rational choice for consumers. ‘Streaming will appeal to some people in some countries that have never been able to consume games before. So I think the combination of the two will grow the market and we very much like this idea,’ he said.
He concluded that Ubisoft is one of the ‘strong supporters’ of Google’s Stadia because it is the first to back the streaming initiative with ‘a lot of push and power behind it’. ‘We believe that this streaming technology will grow, it’s the real start of streaming technology for games this year,’ Corre said. ‘It will take time for all the servers to be in place in every way, in every country, but it’s the start of something big in the future.’
In addition, Ubisoft has pledged to use eco-friendly materials in the physical editions of its upcoming releases, and to encourage environmentally-conscious attitudes in its games, as part of Playing for the Planet.