Life in fast lane beckons for Ubisoft

A new Driver finally makes it to store shelves today – five years after Ubisoft spent $24m buying the brand and its studio.But it’s just the first step in Ubisoft’s plans for both the re-engergised franchise and the driving genre, says CEO Yves Guillemot.

Driver: San Francisco takes the series back to basics with high-speed road races, but adds a gameplay ‘shift’ gimmick that lets players take over neighbouring cars.

The multiformat game arrives today (Friday, September 2nd) and has already scored 8/10s from IGN, and Eurogamer. Driver was devised by Newcastle-based Reflections, which has worked on every instalment of the game over the last decade.

And there’s more to come from the brand, Guillemot told us.

We are working on the plan for what happens to Driver next,” he told MCV at Gamescom.

Reflections is a great studio and as part of our global studios network is already working on its next project. The goal is to make sure this one is an event release for us. The multiplayer aspect is new and fresh so we hope it will do well.”

The firm is spending considerable sums of money on its UK marketing campaign.

Guillemot said there’s still plenty to mine from the driving genre, despite it falling out of favour with publishers after the likes of Split/Second and Blur effectively killed their UK studio creators.

He explained: What you need to do is make sure you have many activities in the game, give players plenty to do – we have done that and are working on that even more for this genre. You have to raise the amount of potential things to do in these games otherwise people lose interest.”

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