Of course having great brands is all well and good, but there's a fine line between releasing game after game in a strong franchise and turning a franchise into a cash cow that's nearly run dry. Detoc doesn't appear to be worried about running Ubisoft's cherished brands into the ground, however. "There's no such thing as too many game sequels," he said. "The real question is: Is it good? And if it's good, you'll want to play it again. I don't know if you've played Rainbow Six
lately, but we could give you another [iteration of] Rainbow Six
right now... As long as you give me my money's worth, I remain a happy customer. Everyone always wants more and we make a very serious effort in upholding [the quality] of our games from one version to the next."
He added, "Splinter Cell
in particular, I think every single one of them has had in the 90s review scores. I don't think we have disappointed customers with the quality of the content. I think the thing we can do better is to make it more accessible, if anything. And remember, even if you sell one million units of Splinter Cell
on 360, there's still [about] 80% of the base that hasn't played it. So how many of those guys are going to be the guys buying the next one?"
So with publishers like THQ, Activision and EA ahead of Ubisoft, how can the company climb the ladder, and is a #1 position even possible with a juggernaut like EA out there? "Nothing is impossible," said Detoc. "Technically everybody in the publishing business right now wants to be #1... The natural intent for all of us is to try to be the largest publisher. And so what does it take? How long is impossible to answer; it's an if/ever answer. But 'what does it take?' is the more interesting question, and I think what it takes is to continue to create the best products. I know it's a basic, simple answer and it's an easy answer, but if we continue to make great products, people will continue to buy them. 'What is a good product?' is a more difficult question to answer because it's not just about critical acclaim; it's about critical commercial success. We want to have brands with broader appeal.We want to continue to make games that are really high-end... but also incorporate more of what we have not done enough of before, which is the user friendliness. Make Splinter Cell
a game that can be played by everybody, as opposed to [hardcore] gamers."