At his Edinburgh Interactive Festival keynote today Ubisoft's CEO, Yves Guillemot, told the gathered clans that in future the publisher will enable gamers to port content from one platform to another.
Discussing a top-secret new game that will focus on user-created content, Guillemot said:
"If the creator only has an Xbox 360 then we will help him port [content] to another console. Although some users will be happy to see their creation just on one console. The goal is to make sure that users can show their friends that they are capable of creating content and prove it to themselves."
Exactly which platforms will be supported wasn't defined.
If Guillemot's promise comes to pass, it will prove a revolutionary move from Ubisoft, marking a first for platforms from competing hardware manufacturers. It will be interesting to see what Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have to say on the subject...
Some of Guillemot's other comments remind SPOnG eerily of Phil Harrison's GDC keynote when LittleBigPlanet was revealed.
"The goal is really to make sure our consumers become creators", said Guillemot. "We need to put gamers in the spotlight and recognise their creativity and make sure that our consumers are the stars".
After the nice, cuddly bit, however, the reality came into pin-sharp focus, "We must make sure we create tools as easy to use as possible. And then we'll be able to monetise the work that is done". Well, of course. The major software houses certainly don't want anything as absurd as has occurred in the music biz which bands such as Joy Division (New Order), Arctic Monkeys and Oasis signing for tiny labels.
So, saying, "Come and bring your fresh new ideas to us and we'll deal with the business end", is a logical way forward.
Don't worry, though! Guillemot got back to cuddly, saying, “We are going to put a mentoring program within our games whereby new consumers can get help and the player helping will be rewarded with points or free games". We're more than capable of being cynical here - but what the hell, let's give Yves and Ubisoft a thumbs-up until we see the contract at least.
Guillemot also weighed in on the state of the industry, optimistically stating, “The market is booming and will will grow by over 50 per cent over the next four years, with lots of new consumers coming... But we have to plan now to ensure that we keep those consumers interested in games going forward.”
It's a good, healthy opinion from the French lad - and we hope that Electronic Arts leaves him in charge
of Ubisoft long enough to see that opinion 'factualised'.
Until then, our man on the ground is catching up with numerous industry 'luminaries' such as EIF boss and ex-PlayStation chief, Chris Deering; Eidos' Ian Livingstone; Sony's head of worldwide studios, Jamie MacDonald and loads more.
We'll be bringing you these interviews later this week, in the meantime, we've just found out some genuinely amazing news about Guitar Hero
. However, we're not allowed to spill any beans until lunchtime tomorrow, so check back then and we promise you that you will not be disappointed. What we can say, as a teaser, is that it involves Manchester. Guess away in the Forum...