Massive CEO Thinks Ubisoft Is Extremely Well Positioned to Take Advantage of Cloud Streaming
Massive Entertainment is about to release Tom Clancy's The Division 2 in less than two months. As if that wasn't enough, the Swedish development team based in Malmö is also working on an ambitious game based on one of the biggest IPs in the whole entertainment industry, James Cameron's Avatar. The current goal, last we heard from Ubisoft, is to release the game in fiscal year 2021, which is to say between April 2020 and March 2021. After all, the next movie is currently scheduled to hit theaters in December 2020.
Massive is already projected into the future, then, and it's hardly surprising to read the excitement of David Polfeldt as the Massive CEO discussed the possibilities of cloud streaming for Ubisoft and the games industry as a whole in a Q&A published on the latest Official PlayStation Magazine (February 2019, issue 158).
I think we live in interesting times. I think there’s a lot going on, particularly on the technology side, hardware side, cloud-based games, or streaming as a distribution channel, also new actors coming in with a lot of interest, old actors coming back as well. What I love about this time is that no matter how you see it, it will bring games to a bigger audience. Which means that the content creators are actually the winners of this particular revolution, and I’m thinking mostly of streaming when I say that as I think theoretically streaming can bring the games to almost anyone on Earth who has a connected screen, and that’s a huge difference for us, but it’s still content. What’s fun for a person who owns hardware is usually the same for a person who doesn’t have hardware, so as soon as they get their hands on the content it’s very likely they’ll enjoy it the same as people who can access it today.
For me, I think of this as it changing the power structure a little bit in the industry and it’s biased towards content creators, which I think is great for this industry because it means people who can make great games are going to be the most valuable in this generation, and I think that’s fantastic. I’ve been in the game industry for so long and when I started we were basically begging someone to pay us to do something that we loved, so the power structure was different, and that’s changing, and I think Ubisoft is also extremely well positioned with the IP portfolio, and because Ubisoft has been so loyal to its own IPs for so long, and now that is going to pay off. I think it’s going to be very interesting in the next ten years.
Indeed, if a triple-A game based on Avatar or even popular Ubisoft IPs like Assassin's Creed suddenly became available to everyone with access to a browser or a mobile device, the market for these titles would tremendously increase. Google and Microsoft have already committed to making this a reality, while both Amazon and Verizon are reportedly attempting to do the same.
Needless to say, it would be a huge shift in the games industry at all levels. We'll certainly track any worthwhile update on this topic - stay tuned for more.