Ubi 'still doing sports games'
But RPGs are bigger focus - boss
With a rousing fanfare, Gallic publishing giant Ubisoft revealed back in February last year that it was producing a major new sports range, having snapped up Microsoft Games Studios' relevant assets and signed golfing legend Vijay Singh.
Well over a year on and, aside from golf titles on mobile from its Gameloft division, plus AND 1 Streetball for PS2 and Xbox, the promise of a major push into the fiercely competitive sector has so far failed to materialise.
However, speaking in an exclusive interview with Eurogamer TV, Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot has insisted the range is still very much in the pipeline - the French firm is just taking its time to get it right.
"We are interested still by sports and we are working on that, but we can't say much now because it's quite difficult to get in - but we will be there at one point," he explained. The sports sector is dominated, of course, by EA, which made a hostile grab for a 20 per cent stake in Ubisoft at the end of 2004.
With sports seemingly on the back-burner, Guillemot did go on to reveal that the RPG genre is a major new area Ubisoft will be focusing on gaining a foothold in.
"We are also very interested by RPG; and the RPG segment is really very close to the action-adventure segment where we are, so we think we can get in there quite quickly," he added. "In the future MMO will also be a big component but in the short term the RPG is really the kind of products we want to create."
Ubisoft's commitment to broadening its portfolio was underlined last week, with the acquisition of the Driver brand and assets from Atari, as well as the staff at UK developer Reflections.
The full interview with Yves Guillemot, where he also gives his views on the pricing of PS3 and plans to produce more movie licensed games following the success of King Kong, is now showing on Eurogamer TV.