Lidwine Sauer is the director of insights and trends for Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Lab. A relatively new department at Ubisoft, the Strategic Innovation Lab monitors and analyzes trends in technology, society, and business in an effort to anticipate the future and stay on the cutting edge. At DICE Europe 2017, Lidwine Sauer will be discussing how creative organizations can best take advantage of rapid changes and innovations. Here are some excerpts from my conversation with Lidwine Sauer.
On technology from the outside permeating gaming:
We feel that it’s very important for game developers to understand that the industry doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The industry is shaped and influenced by lots of different things. Innovation in technology, of course, translates well into what we do in games. Our gamers are also consumers of other products in other industries. Their expectations will be shaped by what they experience outside of our industry.
One of the trends we talk a lot about it is the development of artificial intelligence — more specifically, the development of machine learning. That’s an example of something that’s developed by the tech giants, mostly the Internet giants like Google and Facebook. They’re very much at the forefront of these AI developments. That’s going to spill into the gaming industry; it’s already changing how we make games and changing how we play games. For example, we have a game that’s called Star Trek: Bridge Crew that offers the opportunity for players to interact with the game AI through natural language. The technology behind the game is derived from things that have been worked on in other industries.
On how societal changes impact gaming:
There’s the Maker Movement, for example. The Maker Movement is basically individuals taking control of technology and taking part in the development of new technology. We’re seeing, as a society, people getting more control of what used to be the turf of big companies. That’s one example. A similar thing is happening in biology, if you look at bio-hackers. It’s the same philosophy applied to things like genome sequencing. This philosophy of taking control of what used to be done by big companies is something we also see in entertainment. We have YouTube, for example. People are creating entertainment for their peers. People don’t just want to be consumers of entertainment. They want to participate. That’s why Ubisoft is developing open worlds. Our worlds are very rich because we’d like to give players opportunities to create unique and personal experiences. We want them to have control of their gaming experiences and create something very unique. It’s an example of how a very broad social trend translates into gaming.
Learning about the Ubisoft Strategic Innovation Lab from Lidwine Sauer was fascinating. It’s always interesting to see how large publishers follow and capitalize on trends that are often grassroot. To learn more about the Ubisoft Strategic Innovation Lab and Lidwine Sauer’s DICE Europe 2017 talk, please hit the link below.