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Heroes Community > Dimension Gates > Thread: Q&A with Erwan Le Breton
Thread: Q&A with Erwan Le Breton This thread is 5 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 · NEXT»
Avonu
Avonu


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Embracing light and darkness
posted August 24, 2018 07:09 AM
Edited by Avonu at 07:12, 24 Aug 2018.

Q&A with Erwan Le Breton

Q&A with Erwan Le Breton for Acid Cave's 15th anniversary

A few Q&A about past Ubi games and future of MM franchise.
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lordgraa
lordgraa


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The Whisperer
HC SUPPORTER
posted August 24, 2018 09:31 AM

So Erwan will be the doombringer of Ashan, after all
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Elvin
Elvin


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What if Elvin was female?
posted August 24, 2018 10:17 AM

In short..

Homm-like games are too costly for ubi to prioritize.

Homm is ubi's sword and sorcery go-to series.

Cellphone games and spinoffs are the 'current' way.

Ashan is burned out, time to move to another setting.

A good read all things considered.
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Stevie
Stevie


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Undefeatable Hero
posted August 24, 2018 11:19 AM
Edited by Stevie at 11:20, 24 Aug 2018.

ELB said:
That said, our initial intention for Heroes 7 was to make it the “Best Of” Heroes by involving the community and combining the most appreciated features from Heroes 1 to 6.
To be honest, we failed.
My own personal analysis is the following (not pointing fingers at anyone here, I’m also guilty as charged):
• A collection of features is not a Creative Vision – Heroes 7 lacked a “soul”
• I’m OK with the reuse of art and audio assets from former games because it allowed for a larger scope, but, for various reasons, Heroes 7 ended up looking less modern and appealing than Heroes 6.
• No matter what we do, we always stand in the shadows of Heroes 3. We’re Ubisoft, we’ve acquired the IP, we have not created it… Fighting the nostalgic aura of Heroes 3 is like fighting the waves, ultimately futile.
• For a large company like Ubisoft, Turn-Based Strategy titles like Heroes are now too costly to produce (because of the scope expectations and our overhead costs) and too limited in their sale potential.


So there you have the post-mortem of Heroes 7 and what do you know, it looks exactly like what JJ and I have been saying all along. The comparison with Heroes 3 is a dead avenue, the "best of" mentality is nothing on its own and you need a soul. In fact, on the next question about what he would've done differently, ELB continues with:

ELB said:
Spend more time and effort on finding the game’s focus. A breakthrough feature. A defining vision to give it a clear identity.


He doesn't say "well, we got the 'best of' features wrong", does he? No, they got it fairly right and there was nothing compelling about it. It didn't meet any expectation, no catalyst, no inspired feature, just a bland mix of stuff. It was like picking your favorite ingredient from 6 different dishes and expect their combination to be the hit that topped them off. It clearly doesn't work that way and this is only truth laid bare. What's amazing is how people still can't see such a simple thing, the more you explain it to them, the more it eludes their brains.

And of course, on the visuals side, assets were reused, new ones were rushed and everything looked disconnected and incoherent. The weren't even hitting the mediocre. But then again, what can you expect from a company whose focus is admittedly not on this franchise anymore? Honestly, they should remove Heroes 8 as a candidate for a new game if that's their current frame of mind. But hey, since they're looking to hire, I guess we'll get one anyway.
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frostymuaddib
frostymuaddib


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育碧是白痴
posted August 24, 2018 12:01 PM

Just keep in mind that he says "My own personal analysis is the following".

As for the text, fine read, and it confirmed a few things. I just hope that it is clear that mobile games are the 'future' for M&M.

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Elvin
Elvin


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posted August 24, 2018 01:20 PM
Edited by Elvin at 13:23, 24 Aug 2018.

Eh the fact that he doesn't say they got the features wrong, isn't necessarily true nor does it validate any viewpoints. And similarly, complaining about being compared to H3 and falling short, doesn't mean it's the nostalgic stuck up fans ruining it for everyone. It could simply mean that ubi did a poor job. When you take over a franchise, you have an already existing fanbase willing to pay for its continuation. Otherwise ubi could create a new franchise, have full freedom and see if they can create a new fanbase for their vision. But the first sounds like easier cash, yes?

I'm not suggesting that a new vision would be bad, times and people change. But I'm pretty sure that if they got the feature/balance/aesthetics/mechanics right, people would buy it even without a groundbreaking vision. Simply because they have not gotten a good heroes in ages, I mean how much can one replay the older games? I might not want another H3 or H5 but how many would say no to a remake with different armies and spells? And in ubi's case, even a good vision with an appealing feature combination cannot save a game with shoddy production values, plenty of bugs, crappy engine optimization, thrice-reused models or general lack of content. No amount of vision could have saved H7 and it won't save H8 unless they decide to finally get serious and stop cutting corners everywhere. Maybe if they did a good job, they wouldn't have to worry about H3 stealing the attention after like 20 years.
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blob2
blob2


Legendary Hero
Blob-Ohmos the Second
posted August 24, 2018 01:42 PM

I will copy my post from another thread:

1. He practically answered the age long question about the franchise post-Ubi take-over: "yes, we (Ubi) don't give a f*ck for the franchise as it generates not enough $". Even when you hire semi-indie developer with microscopic budget.

2. Nobody gives a f*ck for Ashan anymore...

So, nothing new in general. At least he admits that he was one of the people responsible for the failure Heroes 7 was.

PS: "This is indeed the “current” way. Might & Magic is a perfect fit for RPG and Strategy titles on mobiles.'- ElB. Sigh.

PS2: "The collaboration stopped because we had some disagreements on key elements of the Creative Vision" - about Nival. Oh, I see what you did there ElB...

PS3: I didn't know some people that left Ubisoft created Amplitude Studios. This shows some really talented people worked there.

Nevertheless a really, really good interview, probably the best thing to happen for the franchise in recent months (concept art, what might have been etc). Well, good in terms of information and content at least. In reality it practically confirms Heroes of M&M is dead.

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Stevie
Stevie


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posted August 24, 2018 05:07 PM
Edited by Stevie at 17:09, 24 Aug 2018.

That's the thing, it's not dead yet, it's still a running joke, they're beating the proverbial dead horse only this time in China. And they're hiring after all, right? Who knows what they're trying to greenlight, could be Heroes 8 for all we know.

frostymuaddib said:
Just keep in mind that he says "My own personal analysis is the following".


Point taken way in advance, I just doubt he'd go to a meeting with those points and leave with something entirely else. It's an accurate analysis further confirming what some of us have been thinking, however broad the strokes. The disclaimer takes nothing away.

@Elvin, let's say I disagree on a lot of what you said and agree with a few statements, I'll spare you the quote wars.
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Quantomas
Quantomas


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AI Wizard
posted August 24, 2018 05:36 PM

I guess what frostymuaddib meant is that this interview presents Erwan's line of defense, which is not necessarily respresentative of the analysis of Ubisoft.

Anyone skilled at marketing knows that the sales of a franchise depend to a large extent on the previous installment. You can easily see how the market judged each entry.

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blob2
blob2


Legendary Hero
Blob-Ohmos the Second
posted August 24, 2018 05:54 PM

I think sticking with Nival was the best bet for this franchise to survive (new-old artworks seem quite nice). I know some of you dislike the "big hands" WoW style of art direction, but Nival's Heroes 5 had its charms. Le Breton claims they were focused elswhere, but I'm entirely sure they simply understood the muck they might've got into (so-called "Creative Vision" to name one) so they decided to withdraw when they still had time.

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LizardWarrior
LizardWarrior


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Age of erwins is over
posted August 24, 2018 08:04 PM

Erwin has an Erwin meme folder

Quote:
But even the occasional “hate” messages were received with a smile. Some of them were, after all, quite funny. Others justified in what they were saying (if not in how they were saying it). Most of them I saved in a special folder to keep my feet on the ground and remember for whom we were working.

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Zenofex
Zenofex


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Legendary Hero
Kreegan-atheist
posted August 25, 2018 07:40 AM

He's your fan.

A bit too late for crocodile tears. Setting-wise all Ubisoft Heroes games have been a complete failure but nobody bothered to listen when people were crying about how infantile the whole thing is ever since the early days of Heroes V. That also includes the art direction. Gameplay-wise, Heroes V had a good foundations and they actually managed to utilize them decently (finally) with TotE and even expand the core concept interestingly enough, despite the near dead on arrival start. The next two games however couldn't even compete with the early Heroes V in that regard, let alone with the NWC creations. So, in the end you have 3 games which are partial or total failure, depending on how you view them, and NOW the "brain" behind the worst decisions related to the series has actually figured out that he and his entourage have completely ****ed up. Good job mate, it took you 12 years! Now do step back and let the whole thing rest in peace.

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Drakon-Deus
Drakon-Deus


Legendary Hero
Quién Sabe?
posted August 25, 2018 11:15 AM
Edited by Drakon-Deus at 11:17, 25 Aug 2018.

"You don't have Erwan to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference."  

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted August 25, 2018 12:23 PM

"See you in China "
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AlHazin
AlHazin


Promising
Supreme Hero
النور
posted August 25, 2018 12:40 PM

He was sent to destroy the last standing foyer of communism.

#savethechinese
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fred79
fred79


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Undefeatable Hero
SCOURGE OF THE H-SEA
posted August 25, 2018 03:59 PM

Lol.

Lol at most of this. Looks like "jesus" is trying to escape again. We'll need either a larger rock to keep him entombed, or railway spikes to make sure ol' creeping judas stays nailed up.

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AnkVaati
AnkVaati


Famous Hero
Nighonese National Front
posted August 25, 2018 05:31 PM

Quote:
No matter what we do, we always stand in the shadows of Heroes 3. We’re Ubisoft, we’ve acquired the IP, we have not created it… Fighting the nostalgic aura of Heroes 3 is like fighting the waves, ultimately futile.


Or you could actually make that a huge success by going back to Antagarich and creating something that is true to the spirit of the game.

Even a "World of Heroescraft" set in Antagarich could potentially be a huge success.

Or... eh... snow... let's not give the froggies any ideas now.. like screwing up Antagarich with buddhist spider dragon gods whose acid green blood can turn you into a vampire...
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blob2
blob2


Legendary Hero
Blob-Ohmos the Second
posted August 27, 2018 09:53 AM
Edited by blob2 at 09:55, 27 Aug 2018.

The interview made me realize how many "interesting" ideas they had. So many games based around the franchise. Most of them garbage. Well, I know it's normal to have such a brainstorming process going around a franchise, but it shows how ultimately they had no idea for this. Well maybe they had when Heroes 5 was released but from then on it went bananas.

Why? Probably because Ubisofts management greed took over after the plausible success of Heroes 5. They discarded Nival, they pushed for Conflux which was probably an experiment rooted in the recent rise of online gaming platforms etc. They made them create some half-made dlc packs to earn some quick buck, just like Heroes Chronicles back in the day. They scrapped any initiative that wasn't in line with their accountants etc (Duels of Champions to name a few).

I think in light of this M&M team is only partially to blame. When your bosses start to have some "bright ideas" you can only put on a smile. Then again, from what I remember they had a lot of creative freedom and that's where I'm finding people like Le Breton at fault. They had their heads so deep in their a**es that they had complete disregard for the past games. They either used it to "borrow" ideas or added some stupid cameos to "appease" the fans. If they would've pushed their agenda, telling Ubi time and time again that fans won't like this, maybe something good would come up from this. But they choose to fanatically defend their spider creations... I think a red light should've appeared just after Heroes VI, they could've changed the Ashan universe into something of an alternate plane, take their time to create a worthy game with the help of some Insiders while keeping the Ashan universe for some other games. Unfortunately I think at that time Ubisoft was already hard pressing them to milk the franchise as much as possible before its unavoidable downfall.

At this point in time I'm starting to think this franchise is cursed. It's a rare case of a franchise that was sunk twice by its publishers.

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted August 27, 2018 12:01 PM
Edited by Elvin at 12:02, 27 Aug 2018.

Ubi simply makes decisions based on profit. They sensed competition before doc 2 was made and they aborted their plans. They sensed H6 and H7 was a sinking ship and they terminated support asap. They saw cellphone games sell and that China has an open market so they moved there.

It was clear from the start really. When you rename the series to might and magic: [something] it is because you plan to be pushing more games under that umbrella. And hopefully pursue further profit from figurines or other merchandise by establishing "iconic" thingies.
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blob2
blob2


Legendary Hero
Blob-Ohmos the Second
posted August 27, 2018 12:43 PM
Edited by blob2 at 13:10, 27 Aug 2018.

Acquiring the franchise was a simple business decision. There's a fanbase, so we'll see how much milking we'll be allowed.

Nothing new as the fans were repeating this like mantra, that Ubi only has only ever been attracted by business value of the franchise, and it turned true. Oh wait, didn't Le Breton say the $ value is minuscule? What gives?

I recently had a thought the unluckiness of the situation comes from the fact that games like Heroes 6-7 came to early. Maybe with different strategy and funding approach things would turn out differently? The "modern" approach I mean.

I mean buying games on Steam is more popular then ever (games turn to profit really quick, but they need good reviews), they could've for instance back up a smaller studio (even a make-shift one made from previous devs like JvC), which would create the game with Kickstarter funding? Kinda like: "this is the base game, but it will be better if you back us!". Ubisoft would turn profit and not loose that much in terms of investment, and the indie team would have a creative freedom and money needed to make a good game. Backing indie developers by big publishers is really popular atm afterall. I know it's a naive way of thinking, it's Ubisoft afterall, but we can all agree that with different approach this would turn better for all...

Take Divinity Original Sin - the first game was a success yet the devs still turned to Kickstarter for the sequel, and made an even better game. Such a "hybrid" game developing is possible.

What am I so fixed on Kickstarter? Because I see how much good comes from the feedback people are giving there. I mean there are shams, but with a well-known publisher at their back they would be reliable. People who back the project up are also a part of the creative process. With such a transparent and reactive approach a potential Heroes game might've turn out very good.

We know how Heroes 7 turned out. The feedback came too late and there was nothing that could be done at that point. There was no control on the creative/developing process...

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