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SHOCKER! How Ubisoft won E3

No other company is exhibiting the same energy and dare as the French maestros, writes Will Porter

Our platform holders overlords have abandoned us. Microsoft and Sony refused to play their cards. Nintendo didn't play their Joker, leading many to speculate as to whether they understood the rules of the game.

At this stage in a prolonged console cycle it's perhaps natural for our glorious leaders to founder - with MS and Sony proffering us endless sequels, mindless brand-extensions and only the most tantalising glimpses of what's coming next.

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The exciting stuff is reserved to come from the third party publishers who've been waiting for a starting gun to fire to signal the next generation, but have in truth been warming up for a long, long time.

In this respect, Ubisoft have won E3. They're catering for the present generation with some astounding games, they've got one eye to the future with the remarkable Watch Dogs and - most importantly - they're taking risks.

They're introducing new IP, and they're fervent in support for the likes of the PS Vita (Assassin's Creed 3 Liberation) and the WiiU (ZombiU, Rayman Legends and those dancey-fitness games).

This multi-pronged and energetic attack comes, arguably, after a period of inertia in terms of Ubi's hardcore gaming. Assassin's Creed 2 was bled until Ezio's skin was paper, Splinter Cell: Conviction's prolonged development was problematic and the likes of HAWX 2 and Driver: San Francisco weren't the hits that the Ubi-brass wanted.

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Somewhere along the line, however, the background machinery has clicked into gear. Yves Guillemot has sprinkled something special into the Montreal water supply.

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