Vidgame publisher tubthumps franchise titles; 'Watch Dogs' unveils cooperative play
In the first 15 minutes of its annual pre-E3 press conference, Ubisoft had a surprise performance by Flo Rida, dancing girls and in-game footage of a topless woman being fondled.The message was clear: Ubisoft is not fooling around with its latest crop of titles — clearly targeted at men. The press conference, held at the Los Angeles Theater, showcased some of the French publisher’s biggest franchises, including “Assassin’s Creed,” “Splinter Cell” and “Rayman,” while unveiling “Watch Dogs,” a new franchise that seems to lift a page from CBS’s “Person of Interest.” Hip hop star Flo Rida cold-opened the show, singing his hit “Good Feeling” accompanied by six dancers to unveil the fourth installment of Ubisoft’s “Just Dance” franchise, out this fall. With comedian Aisha Tyler serving as host, Ubisoft gave extensive demos of “Far Cry 3” (which began with the hero fondling the naked breasts of his enemy’s sister), “Assassin’s Creed 3” (which showed George Washington looking on as the new game’s hero singlehandedly took out a contingent of British Troops) and “The Avengers: Battle for Earth” (which, unlike the blockbuster movie, will feature The X-Men and Spider-Man, along with familiar Avengers such as Iron Man, the Hulk and Captain America). Company will have more games than any third-party publisher when Nintendo launches its Wii U console, and Ubisoft showed off several titles, including a first look at “Zombie U,” “Battle for Earth” and the latest “Rayman” title, which Ubisoft called its showcase for the Wii U, launching around the holidays. “Just Dance 4” and “Assassins Creed 3” also will be playable on the Wii U. But it was “Watch Dogs” that stole the show and generated considerable buzz on Twitter and Facebook immediately after its game footage was introduced. New game envisions a Chicago that is overseen by a computer system called CTOS. A hacker-assassin is able to tap into the personal data of virtually anyone in the city and use that information to his advantage. The game, which was not given a release date at the conference, is an action title with stealth elements — and teased a new style of cooperative play. Gaming fans, who are growing tired of repeated sequels, celebrated the new IP in forums online. “I think this new product is going to revolutionize the way players interact with each other,” said Ubisoft CEO and cofounder Yves Guillemot.