During the Ubisoft first-half 2016-17 earnings call, company CEO Yves Guillemot revealed that the developer is working on a “surprise” game for the upcoming Nintendo Switch.
Guillemot, who has been an enthusiastic backer of the Switch for some time, was full of praise for the Nintendo device once again during the call. He said that the device represented “true innovation,” and mentioned a “surprise” game that is being developed writes Damien McFerran for Nintendo Life.
Ubisoft head talks about Nintendo Switch in earnings call
“The March quarter will also see the release of the Nintendo Switch. As we have already said, we think the platform is great,” said Guillemot. “For the first time, players will be able to continue their home console experience on the go while traveling or commuting. That is a true innovation.”
While Guillemot is a strong believer in the Switch, others are not so convinced. Experts have voiced their doubts that a console which focuses on handheld gameplay can be a hit given the rate of ownership of smartphones and tablets. However, the Ubisoft CEO said that sales figures for the handheld Nintendo 3DS are still strong.
“Despite the huge competition from mobile gaming, Nintendo managed to sell more than 55 million 3DS since its launch,” said Guillemot. “The Switch will benefit from this extreme demand for Nintendo games on a dedicated handheld platform. If its potential is reached, then Ubisoft, as the leading third-party publisher on Nintendo consoles over the past ten years, will benefit disproportionately from that.”
Guillemot mentions “surprise” game
The Ubisoft chief then went on to hint at a new game for the Switch. Commentators believe that it could be Beyond Good & Evil 2, which was previously rumored to be a Nintendo exclusive. The company tried to end speculation about an exclusive, but it may be back on.
Guillemot went on to praise the capabilities of the new Nintendo device. “With the design and the unique abilities of the Switch, Nintendo should revolutionize again the way we play. Ultra-accessible, this console will offer to all of us the liberty and pleasure to share our game experience and to play anywhere and at any time,” he said.
The Ubisoft CEO has been vocal in his support for the Switch for some time now, and his enthusiasm has not waned. It is important for Nintendo to attract other third-party developers to the platform if the new device is to be a success. So far there has been plenty of interest in the Switch and plenty of studios have spoken about working on games.
“The Ubisoft teams who are creating games for the Switch are inspired by all these new possibilities, and I’m very happy that we can continue to make big things with Nintendo,” said Guillemot. “In addition to Just Dance 2017, I’m thinking especially about a game that will surprise you a lot!”
Good support from developers
Nintendo must be hoping that other companies are just as hyped about the Switch as Ubisoft. So far other developers, including Activision, Bethesda, EA and more, have revealed that they are working on games for the Switch.
Nintendo is not targeting the same market as Sony and Microsoft in the console sphere. While core gamers will most likely choose the latest PlayStation or Xbox, Nintendo is trying to appeal to casual and mobile gamers who want something more capable than their smartphone.
Thanks to the support of third-party developers, these gamers look set to have an interesting selection of games available. There has so far been no word on the launch lineup for the Nintendo Switch, nor has the price of the device been revealed.
Company president hints at price
Nintendo says that it will release more information at a press event in January 2017. Until then we are left to speculate and attempt to interpret the hints dropped by executives such as Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima.
During the Nintendo earnings briefing this week Kimishima mentioned the price of the Switch. “Regarding the price, as we have been saying, we are, in principle, not planning to sell it at a loss,” the company president said. “We would like a wide variety of consumers to enjoy Nintendo products, and we would also like to think in terms of consumers’ expectations for our products.”
Kimishima did not reveal anything about the launch lineup, but he did mention his interpretation of the strong support from third-party developers. The president said that the Nintendo Switch had piqued the interest of developers as they “realize that Nintendo Switch offers a chance to create new and exciting surprises which are not possible with existing gaming devices.”