Technology

Game firm Ubisoft acknowledges 'hard' year

South Park cartoon Image copyright Ubisoft
Image caption South Park's unruly children will feature in another adventure game

The last 12 months have been "hard" for Ubisoft, the game maker said during its E3 press conference.

Late last year Ubisoft issued a public apology to gamers for glitches affecting some high-profile titles.

The bugs in Assassin's Creed Unity meant some in-game characters appeared without faces.

The admission came as the company showed off footage of upcoming titles and unveiled some completely new games.

"This has been a very intense year for Ubisoft," said Aisha Tyler, host of the press conference, adding that the company's "passionate players" had given the company a lot of "constructive feedback" on the problems they experienced with some of the company's games.

She said the company had taken the comments "very, very seriously" and had fed the "ear-burning NSFW comments" back in to its development process in a bid to learn from what had happened.

Image copyright Ubisoft
Image caption Ubisoft said it aimed to make the most of the London setting for Assassin's Creed Syndicate

After acknowledging the criticism, Ubisoft gave demonstrations of game play from several upcoming titles.

Recon restart

One of the first was Assassin's Creed Syndicate which is set in London in 1868. A video unveiled at the conference showed a pub brawl between rival gangs and a chase involving horse-drawn carriages. The game is set to be released on 23 October.

Also on show was The Division - a post-apocalyptic, open-world survival shooter set in the US after a virus knocks out all central government and law enforcement.

It gave a look at one part of The Division's game world called the Dark Zone - a lawless, contested area of New York inhabited by heavily-armed bandits and looters. First announced in 2013, the Division is due to be released on 8 March, 2016.

Image copyright Ubisoft
Image caption Rainbow Six Siege involves an intense fight to defuse bombs or rescue hostages

Footage from the counter-terrorist squad-based shooter Rainbow Six Siege was also aired. The game was first mentioned last year but in 2015 attendees will be able to play some of its maps at the Ubisoft stand.

Pop star Jason Derulo performed on stage to promote the 2016 version of Just Dance. Ubisoft is also planning to launch a music streaming service for it that regularly introduces new songs to players that subscribe to Just Dance Unlimited.

Entirely new titles included For Honor and Ghost Recon Wildlands.

For Honor is based around hand-to-hand melee combat between small groups of knights, Vikings and other savage warriors. The brutal and bloody console game pits two teams of four players against each other in short battles.

The Ghost Recon reboot is set in a massive open world and puts players in a squad of special forces soldiers who have the job of infiltrating and taking down several drug cartels.

Ubisoft also unveiled a new game featuring the unruly children from South Park. The first, called The Stick of Truth, has a fantasy theme but the second outing is a superhero game called The Fractured But Whole.

"We might regret it, but we're doing it again," said Trey Parker, co-creator of the South Park cartoon.

You can follow all of the BBC's coverage from E3 2015 via the hashtag, #e3bbc

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