Interview: Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot
We talk exclusively with the CEO of Ubisoft to discuss a potential future where his company publishes Grand Theft Auto, plus chat about casual games, innovating in the NEXT generation and more.
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Kikizo: I would love to see a European company own what we currently know as Take 2, as opposed to EA buying it and getting even larger. Wouldn't you like to see a European company take ownership of it?
Yves: As you know I can't comment on that kind of question, but for sure it's a great company and it's true that they have an excellent team in the UK which is for sure one of the best teams in the world [Rockstar North]. We are at the same time competing to do very high quality games and we love that there are people with their own ways and they have passion, and we can see that in their game.
Kikizo: So would you agree with [EA CEO] John Riccitiello that in a move to acquire Take 2 it's all about Rockstar, as opposed to the rest of the organisation's output?
Yves: No, no, I don't think so - I think a company is a company, and a company is as a whole. You have all sorts of people in the company and all sorts of product, and that company has been doing lots of different things. They could come with very creative ideas with other parts of the company, so no I think the company Take 2 is full of good talent and it's a great company.
Kikizo: Also can I get an update from you, everyone currently thinks of EA as the world's biggest publisher, with Activision Blizzard soon to challenge that. Where do you see yourselves today and in the future, can you be the number three or the number two?
Yves: I think what we are working on at the moment is to make sure we can create games that will allow us to grow extremely fast. And really we think the key is in the quality of the games that we will be launching. That is why we are concentrating on the creativity and all the tools we need to actually need to continue to perform. Because when you look at it, it's actually World of Warcraft that bought Activision, so [the performance of] only one game can buy a company. So if we are performing with a high quality game, we can grow faster.
Kikizo: You made some interesting comments earlier about 3D television technology that's coming, and showed us the Beyond Good and Evil 2 teaser. You mentioned we'll learn more next year but is this something that will require consumers to buy a new TV set? And what is it that will put Ubisoft at the front of this new wave?
Yves: You know, our goal is always to be using the new technologies, just because we think it's very important to understand what we will change - in the compassion, in the emotion we will have when we play those new games using the new technology. So the goal is really to get in early to have the compassion and understand the potential problems, so that when everybody else goes for it we can really deliver something that that is new, something that we mastered, and that's what we will do to make the difference.
Kikizo: It is so important to innovate rather than do what everyone is doing right now for example which is copying Nintendo.
Yves: That's right.
Kikizo: Thank you very much again.
Yves: You're welcome!
So... Grand Theft Auto: Paris, anyone? [hides]