Tag Archives: michael de plater
Mon, Feb 08, 2010 | 16:00 GMT
Having previously confirmed that a sequel to voice-controlled RTS EndWar was in development at Ubi Shanghai, Michael de Plater, lead on the original’s team, has told VG247 that the project has been put on hold.
Thu, Feb 04, 2010 | 17:33 GMT
RTS is doomed, if you listen to the naysayers. We sincerely hoped it wasn’t, so we asked EndWar dev lead and Ubisoft Montpellier creative director Michael de Plater, RUSE developer Eugen and British starlet Creative Assembly what problems are facing real-time strategy and whether or not the genre can move passed them.
Mon, Aug 03, 2009 | 10:01 BST
Ubisoft’s Michael De Plater has spoken out on releasing new IPs against big blockbuster games at Christmas, citing the holiday season as a “brutal” period to send them out to the market.
“It’s a bit tough to launch a new IP exactly at Christmas when you’re head-to-head with blockbuster sequels. It’s interesting to see a number of big titles, like Heavy Rain, being targeted at 2010 to avoid the Christmas rush,” said the dev boss.
“And Ubisoft’s got Ruse coming out in 2010. Even God of War 3′s in 2010, that’s how brutal it is. I mean, you’ve got Assassin’s Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, Mass Effect 2…
“To me, it’s been a period of enormous change, and the last four years I would say has been the time when games have actually surpassed movies as the premium blockbuster entertainment.”
More at GI.
Mon, Aug 03, 2009 | 08:57 BST
Ubisoft dev head Michael de Plater has told VG247 that the differences between success in the PC and console spaces are less to do with design and more concerned with “the market”.
De Plater most recently headed up voice-based multi-format RTS EndWar at Ubi Shanghai.
“It was the biggest learning experience of my life,” said of the game. “We did well over a million, and us and Halo Wars were the biggest RTSes of the past few years. We beat C&C on our first go, we beat Total War. So we were like, ‘Wow, this is fantastic. It’s this huge new RTS.’
“But, in the console space, there’s so much pressure to really be in the top ten… It was a big learning experience that really the difference between console and PC isn’t so much about the players or the game design or the things we thought it was: it’s actually about the market, about how blockbuster-driven it is, and how hit-driven it is, and how big you have to be.”
De Plater has since moved from the Shanghai studio to to Ubi’s Montpelier developer.
Ubi Shanghai has already started work on an EndWar sequel.
Thu, Jul 23, 2009 | 13:01 BST
Ubisoft’s Michael de Plater has told Videogamer that an Endwar sequel is definitely in the works.
“Giving more attention to the single-player is straightforward to address and will make the game a lot of fun,” said the exec.
“Changing the way the combat chain works, the paper, scissors, rock, and adding the differentiation between the three factions, again it’s not something that’s even necessarily hard to do; it’s something that we chose not to do with the accessibility.”
Ubi Shanghai’s doing it again. More through there.
Wed, Jul 15, 2009 | 12:57 BST
Speaking to VG247 at Develop today, Endwar dev boss Michael de Plater has suggested that Natal could breathe new life into the difficult world of console RTS.
“Natal doesn’t only have the camera, but the microphone as well,” he said. “The combination of voice and gesture could be really powerful and immersive.
“You could definitely drag selection boxes, and you could definitely point with enough precision to tell people where to go.”
He added: “You’d absolutely have that Minority Report-type feeling.”
The Ubisoft chief – now moved from heading up the company’s Shanghai studio to Montpelier in France – cited the appearance of upcoming RTS RUSE working on Microsoft’s touch-screen Surface table at E3 this year as an example of how Natal may affect console strategy.
“One of the coolest things I saw at E3 this year was RUSE being played on a Surface table,” he said.
“Obviously, not everyone’s going to have a Surface table, but on the Surface you’re playing with gestures. You’re moving your hands to select, and you’re pointing. They’re really intuitive natural gestures.
“If the technology works, so you could translate the interface they’ve already got working really well on RUSE into Natal, it could work very, very well.”
There’s no date on Natal’s release as yet.
Fri, Oct 31, 2008 | 11:22 GMT
Tom Clancy’s EndWar’s going into shops day and date with Gears of War 2 on November 7, but Ubisoft Shanghai director Michael de Plater isn’t worried. The voice-comm strategy game is likely to be a slow burn, he told VG247.
“I don’t think EndWar’s all about being a blockbuster on day one,” he said.
“I think it’s a new type of game and there’s not really any direct competition. I think word of mouth is going to spread, and I think people are going to buy it and they’re going to have a lot of fun with it. I think it’s going to be on the shelves for a long time.”
De Plater isn’t scared of going out on the same day as Epic’s blockbusting action game, saying that the fact that more people will be in stores that day may even be a plus.
“I think there’ll be a lot of people going into the shops on those days, and I think we’re a different sort of game,” he added.
“Christmas is so big that if it wasn’t Gears of War 2 it’d be Fable II or Fallout or Left 4 Dead, or whatever. I just want to get the game on the shelves as soon as possible.”
Thu, Oct 30, 2008 | 11:02 GMT
Blizzard would never simply port StarCraft to console. If it decided to move to under-TV machines with the franchise, the game would end up looking more like Tom Clancy’s EndWar than its PC counterpart, Ubi Shanghai director Michael de Plater’s told VG247.
“Something like the StarCraft universe would be fantastic for the style of game we’re doing,” said the exec.
“But I think Blizzard have a very good understand that StarCraft is a PC game. I don’t think there’s any way that they will port StarCraft onto console for the sake of doing it and making a few bucks.
I’m sure if they wanted to do a console game – the same with Activision – they’d do it properly, and it that case it’d look a lot more like our game. You could certainly do this with space marines and stuff. I think console’s much more suited to tactical, strategic action sort of games, rather than resource management.”
De Plater added that he doesn’t see games like StarCraft II and Red Alert 3 as threatening to EndWar.
“They’re certainly not direct competitors, he said. “They are so different.”
The only time StarCraft’s ever looked as though it was going to console – apart from a tepidly-received N64 version in 2000 (thanks, SplatteredHouse) – was with the doomed StarCraft Ghost in the last generation. It never happened.
StarCraft II’s out next year. Tom Clancy’s EndWar’s releasing for 360 and PS3 on November 7.
Mon, Oct 27, 2008 | 11:17 GMT
Listening to feedback from hardcore RTS fans has driven complexity up and sales days in the genre.
That’s according to Ubi Shanghai boss Michael de Plater, dev lead on Tom Clancy’s EndWar.
“Strategy games have almost suffered by listening too much to their hardcore audience,” the exec told VG247.
“Every iteration, from Command & Conquer onwards, added stuff and added stuff and added stuff, which has just upped the complexity. If you watch the sales, they just go down and down and down.
“They’re just selling to [an increasingly] narrower audience.”
EndWar has offed the shackles of dozens of shortcuts and resource management by aiming for a stripped-down take on strategy with a console focus and voice commands.
The approach will bring RTS to a wider audience, de Plater added.
“We would very much hope and like this to be consistent in its success with the other ‘big three’ Tom Clancy franchises like Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell,” he said.
“It’s important for us to reach a wider audience with it as well.”
EndWar release on November 7 for PS3 and 360.
Fri, Oct 24, 2008 | 15:39 BST
Voice controls wouldn’t work with Ensemble RTS Halo Wars, EndWar boss Michael de Plater has told VG247, as it’s too complex a game.
“I don’t even know that voice command would even be a very good solution for that style of game because the complexity of what you have to do is so much higher, and it’s not even such a natural thing,” he said, speaking at a recent EndWar event in London.
“It’s hard to see how it would work… It’s very hard to map that more intuitive idea onto a more traditional RTS, I think.”
Halo Wars and EndWar are too far apart from control systems to marry, said the exec.
“I think Halo Wars is a very, very different game to [EndWar], and the difference between Halo Wars and EndWar isn’t so much about the voice command rather than the game itself.
“We’re a tactical war game with no resource management and no base-building: they’re much closer to a traditional RTS, which is a combination of building and fighting and resource management.”
Halo Wars is out at the beginning of next year. EndWar hits on November 7 for 360 and PS3.
Wed, Oct 15, 2008 | 15:51 BST
Tom Clancy’s EndWar’s voice-controlled antics took their cue from the “natural” input methods of Guitar Hero and Wii, Ubisoft Shanghai boss Michael de Plater has told VG247.
“We were very much inspired by other natural input methods, whether it’s the guitar for Guitar Hero, or the steering wheel for driving games, or the Wii,” said the exec.
“If you let people play to the natural way they would do something, then you get the dual benefits of accessibility and immersion.”
Immersion was key to the voice choice the Chinese team took with the game, but ease of use was also granted by the control method.
“I think two things,” said de Plater, when asked why Ubi had gone for voice activation with the game. “Firstly, accessibility. Putting you in the role of a general so you can tell your troops what to do and they do it, so obviously it gets around lots of the accessibility issues of moving to the pad, and so on.
“But also immersion as well,” he said.
The game’s out on November 7. The demo’s up on Live now.
Fri, Oct 10, 2008 | 12:00 BST
Ubisoft Shanghai creative director Michael de Plater has said he believes Microsoft would have kept Ensemble Studios running if the firm has real confidence in PC games sales.
“I think it’s terrible, really a shame that Ensemble’s been shut,” he told VG247. “It’s really a bit of a shock… It just speaks of the problems with PC. I’m sure if people were confident of PC sales then Microsoft wouldn’t have done that.”
De Plater also told us that piracy was the main reason Tom Clancy’s EndWar wasn’t receiving a PC version in line with the game’s console SKUs.
Wed, Oct 08, 2008 | 09:26 BST
Ubisoft Shanghai creative director Michael de Plater has told VG247 that a PC version of EndWar would most likely be shipping alongside the console SKUs if it wasn’t for rampant PC piracy, and that copyright theft is essentially destroying the PC games market.
“To be honest, if PC wasn’t pirated to hell and back, there’d probably be a PC version coming out the same day as the other two,” he said, talking of the voice-controlled RTS.
“But at the moment, if you release the PC version, essentially what you’re doing is letting people have a free version that they rip off instead of a purchased version. Piracy’s basically killing PC.”
We asked if piracy was the main reason to keep EndWar off PC.
“Yeah, at the time of release,” he said. “You know, the level of piracy that you get with the PC just cannibalizes the others, because people just steal that version.”
De Plater also told us that a PC version is likely to be released further down the line, as reported yesterday.
Tom Clancy’s EndWar does appear to be very good, from what we played of it. Looks as though you’re not going to be leeching a PC version for a while yet, though. You know who you are.