Ubisoft Designer: Hardcore Shooter Market 'Too Narrow' to Support Development

By Nick Breckon, Mar 18, 2008 9:58am PDT Ubisoft developer Phil Therien doubts his company will ever develop another hardcore shooter due to the small size of the market, according to a LiveText interview at Eurogamer.

When asked by a fan whether Ubisoft would consider working on a new tactical shooter in the vein of the original Ghost Recon, the Rainbow Six Vegas 2 designer replied: "I doubt we will ever go back to really hardcore only shooters."

"The market was too narrow for it to be a viable business choice," Therien continued. "We would like to be able to please both sides but compromises have to be made."

Though clearly shooting down the idea of returning to the Rainbow Six series' roots, Therien did leave some hope for development of a game that might please both markets.

"We have some ideas to improve on the situation though--keep in mind however that we want our games to be accessible to as many people as possible, otherwise we just couldn't keep making games."

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22 Threads | 83 Comments

  • This guy is simply trying to make excuses. Maybe he can explain a poll on the official forums where gamers overwhelmingly asked for a tougher, more realistic and gritty experience. No, he is just trying to justify ramming a faulty design down everyone's throat. He has to, it is launch time.

    RVS was the most popular of the series at it's launch. And then what happened? That is where it went off the rails. You can't look at it any other way but someone thought, "You have to be too smart to play this title. Let's take away all of the 'work' and free the gamer." How asinine. R6 possessed a wonderful heritage that made it singularly unique. And then what happened? They traded it all for cornrow assaulters and a cover system stolen from another game that borrowed it from another game.

    I was doing some advisory work at Redstorm when they were building Lockdown. The PS2 was the lead platform. I sat down with John Slaydon (Lockdown Lead) and he showed me the current design and talked about their mechanics and the targeted experience. I looked at him like he was a martian and told him he was making a fatal and enormous error. He and I never spoke after that and needless to say he wasn't at RSE after that title. He also caught all of the blame due to Steve and others that approved his design. They sidestepped and ducked and he died on the tarmac.

    The people at Ubisoft apparently feel that consoles are where the money lies and console gamers are idiots. I am an older gamer but I have all 3 consoles and for the most part game them when I am not in VBS2 on the PC. Plenty of console gamers would like a more challenging and hardcore game. Because the developers there lack the design talent in no way adds truth to their statements.

    Their goal has been to make their games more accessible. By accessible they mean allowing inexperienced gamers to jump in and survive, mainly in MP. They have the right idea - make the title more accessible - but the wrong approach. Their approach also means remove the realism and dumb down the mechanics. They are worse than the US Army for identifying an issue and treating the symptom rather than the problem.

    This error also bleeds over and completely ruins the single game experience. There are a host of other design flaws. Personally I have given up totally on the series and prefer to go back to RvS where modders are putting the finishing touches on new thermal scopes and the like. Real thermal scopes not to mention shotgun door breaching.

    I would be glad to at least see this supposedly insightful developer come clean on something else. While he is feeling all honest, stop referring to Vegas as a tactical or realistic shooter. It isn't. It also isn't R6, it is Vegas.

  • Ok, why doesnt ubisoft have one team make R6 arcade games like vegas. Then hire another smaller team to make a tactical shooter using all the already made assets? Surely costs could be kept reasonably low to make a profit.

    Also i'm sick of this "wider appeal" bullshit, You dont make a game for the casual user or partime gamer ot average gamer. That isn't a target audience. You make a game cuz X amount of people want a tactical shooter, or X amount of people want deathmatch or X amount of people want a sequal to peggle.

    Then realistcally look at how big the potential market is for that game and create a game with a budget in mind instead of some huge sum based on wild generalizations. Another hardcore Rainbow Six game WOULD sell. They were selling very well before the series got "casual gamer'd".