Interviews & Opinion

E3 2018 - A safe showing from Ubisoft that still entertained

E3 2018 - A safe showing from Ubisoft that still entertained

You can always count on Ubisoft to put on a showcase that at least turns heads, and this year was no exception.

The showcase kicked off with an impressive music number featuring a dancing panda (if we remember correctly) to promote Just Dance 2019.

That was before Beyond Good and Evil 2 properly opened the show with a cinematic trailer. The developers used that opportunity to announce that it was collaborating with the community to include art, dialogue, music and writing from the fans into the game via the Space Monkey Program. In order to do this, it is teaming up with HitRecord, run by none other than Hollywood actor Joseph Gordon Levitt. It wasn't clarified at the time, but artists who are involved with this scheme will be paid for their work - something the film star confirmed by Twitter following his appearance.

After Beyond Good and Evil 2, it was time for Rainbow Six Siege's turn in the spotlight. That game has been played by 35m players, Ubisoft revealed, meaning that it has attracted five million new users since the 30m was announced back in April.

We also got our first proper look at The Division 2, following the gameplay trailer at Microsoft's showcase yesterday. Raids are coming to the hit MMO shooter. The developers at Massive Entertainment also reckon they have years of "frequent content" in the pipeline. Three lots of DLC are planned for the game's Year One - all of which will be free.

And speaking of service-based projects, a brand new expansion was announced for For Honor. Marching Fire introduces Chinese characters to the game in what is described as the "biggest and most ambitious update" to that project to date. This is likely - in part - an attempt to capitalise on the massive Chinese games market, one that Ubisoft has a foothold in thanks to its partnership with tech and entertainment giant Tencent. Furthermore, For Honor's Starter Edition will be free from today (June 11th, 2018) until June 18th, 2018.

The Crew 2 was the penultimate project on stage, with an open beta kicking off on June 21st.

Ubisoft's conference culminated in the official announcement of Assassin's Creed Odyssey. The fact that this game leaked ahead of time certainly took the sting out of the firm's showcase, but the demo certainly had the audience interested. This new entry introduces dialogue options into the franchise, pushing the historical murder simulator further into RPG territory. Consumers will also be able to pick between a male and female protagonist in a series first.

All in all it was a pretty safe showing from the French publishing giant. It would have been nice to see new entries in franchises such as Splinter Cell and Watch Dogs 3, or even some new IP. But Ubisoft is giving its developers more time to work on their projects - if they're not ready to be announced, then they're not ready. Fingers crossed some title show up during Sony's showcase, but it's looking like we'll be seeing them next year.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.