The Completely Unnecessary Guide to E3 2014 – Part 5: Ubisoft

We’re trying a new format out here at Expansive; our Completely Unnecessary Guides are massive, serialised articles intended as a off-beat and irreverent source of all the information you to need about a subject to pass off as being vaguely knowledgeable. Yesterday we looked at the EA press conference and now everything looks like it was passed through a blue-grey bloom filter.


Aisha Tyler, apparently sharing fishing anecdotes

The Ubisoft Press Conference

When and where?

Monday 9th June, 3pm Pacific (11pm UK time) at the Orpheum Theater

The State of Play

Ubisoft are doing just nicely, thank you very much. Despite making a massive but extremely expected loss at the end of the previous financial year, CEO Yves Guillemot’s position at the head of the corporation is as assured and stable as it ever was. Anyway, with the massive success that was the release of Watch_Dogs last month and the large stockpile of quality games the company are apparently sitting on, it’s unlikely that Ubi’s coffers will be staying in the red much longer.

Last year they announced and demonstrated a rather comprehensive list of sequels, spinoffs and new IPs, and whilst some of those titles will likely be returning for a second look, there will doubtlessly be more on the way from the French behemoth this year.

What to expect

Ubisoft are the only keynote-giving company to hire a professional speaker to compère their event, with last year’s compère Aisha Tyler returning for a second go at the mic. Somehow this never actually improves things much and so Ubisoft presentations are still remembered far more for their awkward idiosyncrasies than their actual content. Still, assuming that they don’t accidentally invite James Cameron to talk at length about his latest movie again like they did in 2009 (this I found to be the very definition of Hell), you can expect a good mix of massive sequels and impressive little original titles from the French megacorp. Just a heads up; you should probably also be prepared for yet another Just Dance presentation, which will be extremely garish and involve awful pop music: viewer discretion is advised.

Far Cry 4

I would joke that this is Yves sitting on his throne if it weren’t for the fact that this guy is far too tall to be Yves.

The Games

Though we only know scant details so far, Ubisoft’s most anticipated games this year would probably be Far Cry 4 and Assassin’s Creed Unity which will both get their first formal reveal at the event. Meanwhile squad-based action RPG Tom Clancy’s The Division and massive open world racer The Crew are both due a further demonstration following their E3 2013 reveals. Ubisoft will also be showing off WW1 puzzle adventure Valiant Hearts (made in the rather lovely UbiART engine), as well as what they simply describe as ‘other titles’. We know for a fact that Ubisoft are sitting on a number of unannounced projects (including one called ‘Hero’, minor details of which were leaked to the internet last week, and a new current-gen Assassin’s Creed) so it seems likely that we’ll be seeing some more entirely unforeseen stuff like we did last year

Notable Faces

  • Yves Guillemot: Tiny, tiny CEO Yves Guillemot will doubtlessly have a few words to say in his lovely French accent; even if he doesn’t actually present the event or show off any particular games he likes to make his presence known at these things. Yves is one of the five brothers who founded Ubisoft back in 1986 and has basically been the driving force behind the company since then. His favourite game is supposedly Rayman, which may go towards explaining the recent resurgence in 2D Rayman games. Also, It’s pronounced eves, not yer-vez.
  • Michel Ancel: Ubisoft’s resident auteur, Michel Ancel will probably be dragged out for yet another round of ‘Here’s a game that isn’t Beyond Good and Evil 2’. Aside from BG&E (a game I personally consider to be one of the best ever), he created Rayman and the Raving Rabbids, and worked on the UbiART engine, which Ubisoft are using to put out stunning looking 2D games such as Child of Light and Valiant Hearts.
  • Jade Raymond: We haven’t actually seen much from Ms. Raymond for a few years, but as she appears to have publicly resurfaced recently, I wouldn’t be surprised if she were to take to the stage again this year. Before being snapped up by Ubisoft in 2004 she worked as a programmer for Sony and EA, and as a correspondent for G4’s The Electric Playground which was apparently some sort of television thing about games. She’s most remembered as being the producer of the first two Assassins’ Creed games before moving from Montreal to Toronto (Ubisoft really likes Canada) to set up another Ubisoft studio there back in 2010. Ubisoft Toronto are now working on five unannounced projects.

Things to Tweet

‘Bring back Mr Caffiene!”‘ ‘#girlwood’, ‘Where’s Beyond Good and Evil 2?’

Tomorrow: Sony

About the author

Mark Cope

A sort of gaming jack of all trades, Mark is a lifelong enthusiast who has more recently directed his interests towards the PC and indie gaming scenes. He once wrote about a different game every day for a whole year, but nobody is entirely sure why.
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