Former Ubisoft Executive Jade Raymond spoke out recently in an interview with Forbes about some of the creative pressures surrounding AAA games development.
With metacritic scores and sales figures influencing the way developers work, Raymond said that companies who focus solely on profit run the risk of taking very few creative risks or innovated moves.
“Innovation is important,” Raymond is quoted as saying. “If the bonus is based 100% on profitability and sales, you aren’t as likely to take creative risks or innovate, because every time you try to innovate or focus on things that are new, some of them might not work out.”
Raymond went on to discuss the current models surrounding games development and how companies should focus more on giving players what they are looking for, instead of incorporating genre-based gameplay features to one particular title. “I certainly don’t think that’s the right approach. The AAA industry definitely has to pause and question the current recipe,” she said.
As well as the creative pressures surrounding games developers, Raymond shed some light into the importance of female figures becoming known in the industry: “One thing that’s been positive for me is that I do get nice feedback from women in the games industry, or women considering the games industry,” Raymond said. “Seeing me out there speaking is a good example that women can have interesting roles in the games industry, and if they join they won’t be the only girl in the team.”
Raymond went also to say that there are some great women out there currently working in the industry, and that further highlights into their work and accomplishments is needed to present a positive and diverse image.
Having worked with Sony Online Entertainment and Electronic Arts, Raymond is best-known for having produced Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed 2. Following the success of those titles, Raymond became the head of Ubisoft Toronto, where she oversaw the development of Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Far Cry 4.
Raymond has since departed Ubisoft, choosing to work closely with indie developers in Canada.