Opinion: Without Ubisoft, the 3DS would be in trouble
Rabbids publisher is Nintendo's biggest supporter
As part of a talk at the Montreal International Game Summit last week, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot suggested that the success of the Nintendo 3DS depends on whether or not quality titles begin to appear in the new year.
"I think it's a question of coming with enough games [more] than the price," he said, as reported by Edge.
No doubt there will be some gamers who will have a good old snort at this - especially since it comes from Ubisoft, which is well-known for piling on the mediocre games at every console launch going.
It was the same story for the Nintendo 3DS launch, as Ubisoft supplied four titles on March 25th that managed scores from 4 to 7.
But should we really be turning our noses up at these menial releases? I suspect not.Bolstered launch
One of the main reasons that the 3DS hasn't been selling so well (at least, before the price drop happened in August) is the distinct lack of titles for the console.
We're not even talking quality titles - we're just talking any games at all. Even now, if someone asked us which games to buy with the console we'd probably end up naming launch titles from March. There hasn't been much of note since then.
The reason for this is simple - in the current ecomonic climate, game companies are wary of taking a risk with new titles, especially at the launch of the hardware.
While this may well be wise, it has a Catch-22 effect. Game companies don't want to put forth their support until they know the console will be a success, but the console can't be a success until game companies support it.
Ubisoft was easily the biggest supporter of the 3DS at launch - indeed, of the 13 launch titles, four were from Ubisoft. If Ubisoft hadn't played its hand, we would have been left with a meagre nine launch titles, and no doubt the console would have sold even more poorly.Continued support
Ubisoft hasn't stopped there, either. In the weeks that followed the launch, it put out another two titles - Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D and Rabbids 3D. Again, nothing incredible, but at least the company was adding support for the console.
It later added Driver Renegade to the mix, and has a number of games still upcoming for the 3DS.
During this time, numerous other companies still haven't shown their support for the 3DS, as they wait to see if the price drop has done enough to save it.
The bottom line is that without the support that Ubisoft has shown the 3DS, the story could potentially be a lot different.
So next time you see a shelf full of Ubisoft 3DS titles in your local Game store and think to yourself "I'm not buying that shovelware", consider this: Where are all the 3DS games from other game companies?