Ubisoft is developing a range of cross-generational titles aimed at both current and next-gen consoles, the publisher has confirmed, adding that it doesn't plan to take advantage of the "full capacity" of next-gen hardware until the third year after the consoles have shipped.
"Because we are making those games on the next-gen and the old-gen at the same time, for some of them, we don't have a specific number to give you on that subject," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in response to a question about next-gen during the company's first half 2012 earnings call.
Due to cross-generation development, Ubisoft doesn't expect its development costs to immediately rise with the introduction of new hardware.
"We expect that in the first two years the costs will not increase compared with what we have today in creating the games we launch," Guillemot continued. "We don't know, though, about the third year, where we will take advantage of the full capacity of those consoles and where everybody will do so. So we will probably have to spend more money at that time."
He continued: "Also... I think what is very important to consider, the revenue [we] normally [see] per product will increase, because the life span of those games will be higher.
"We have a trend that started on this generation of consoles that will continue where we'll generate, like we spoke about on the DLC or items or new elements that consumers can buy from the games, the revenue per game normally will increase per customer."
Developing titles for both current and next-gen platforms is fairly standard practice at the beginning of a console cycle.
Xbox 360 launched with HD versions of previous-gen titles GUN and Peter Jackon's King Kong. An enhanced version of Hitman: Blood Money released on the console in the following year.
Watch Dogs, which launches next year, will likely be cross-generational, too.
As for when the next-gen is coming, though, Guillemot won't say.
"For the other coming machines, it will depend when they actually come," he continued. "But as the market has been waiting for them for a long time, we expect when they come they will have a big boost to the industry because many people are interested [in] actually buying those consoles as well."
Source: Ubisoft H1 FY 2012-13 Sales and Results