Ubisoft chief creative officer Serge Hascoet doesn’t believe games are giving players the real-world benefits they need.
Speaking to GameInformer, Hascoet claimed that while there are exciting technology developments taking place in video games right now, there’s a key element missing from the medium.
“You know what is missing in this industry? A soul,” said Hascoet. ”Video games are about gaming, and gaming is not about entertainment, it's about learning. When you learn, you have fun. But when we are just entertainment we are losing something.
“I question the team about what real benefits the player will take away from the game for their real life. Right now, we don’t do enough in this area. This is what excites me, how to make something that lets you have the most fun while also having something beneficial for your life.”
Hascoet looked to the soft social skills crucial to playing board or card games with friends, where reading expressions and communication is as vital as any of the game’s built-in mechanics.
“Some board games and card games have higher benefits than video games because when you play the board game you are analyzing people’s faces. Do I want to cooperate? Do I want to believe in you when you are in character?
“This knowledge – gained while you are having fun – is very beneficial for your life because it will improve the way you read people's faces. We have to understand how we can change games and the rules to have this kind of benefit.“
Bold words, perhaps, from a publisher best-known for its annual open-world sprawls. But Ubisoft has a history of dabbling in smaller, more experimental titles. This push towards more human gaming may hint at what future small-scale releases from the French outfit may look like.
Hascoet also said that Ubisoft was looking to do new entries in the Prince of Persia and Splinter Cell franchises but that the firm was looking for resource to do it.