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Ubisoft has announced that Jade Raymond has left the company.

Raymond was largely involved with many of Ubisoft’s titles over the past few years. She acted as producer on the original Assassin’s Creed, and was the executive producer of Assassin’s Creed II, Watch Dogs, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

Raymond said of today’s news:

“I’ve spent 10 extraordinary years at Ubisoft, and I am proud to have been part of many of the best teams in the industry making truly remarkable games. This is one of the hardest decisions of my career, but the Toronto studio is strong and on a solid path. I’m confident that now is a good time for me to transition leadership of the studio to Alex and to pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities. Stay tuned for more on what’s next for me, but for now, I’d like to thank Ubisoft for its partnership through the years, and I wish them the very best in all their next endeavours.”

Alexandre Parizeau, a founding team member of the Ubisoft Toronto studio, has taken over Raymond’s role as managing director.

Source: Ubisoft PR

Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs companion app recently received an update. It is now compatible with the game’s Wii U version, which hits store shelves next month.

By using the app, you’ll be able to play with friends on Wii U (or any other console/PC). Race and Free Ride modes are both supported.

Watch Dogs launches for Wii U on November 18.

Thanks to Derek B for the tip.

An interactive map and off-TV play are two prominent features that the Wii U version of Watch Dogs contains. Ubisoft Bucharest experimented with other ideas, though “some of them just didn’t work.” The interactive map was ultimately chosen as the best option.

Ubisoft Bucharest producer Florin Sanda told NintendoWorldReport, “Our focus was in re-creating the same experience as on the other platforms, while taking advantage of what the Wii U has to offer.” The interactive map will come in handy as “exploration is key” in Watch Dogs.

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Tetris Ultimate is launching in North America on November 11, Ubisoft has announced. The game will be available for $29.99 at retail, but the eShop version will only cost $19.99.

Tetris Ultimate for Nintendo 3DS offers six ways to play Tetris, in addition to “a new single-player Challenge mode that will test the skills and determination of the most die-hard Tetris champions.”

Fans can expect the following game modes from the title:

• Battle Ultimate – Be the last person playing after using crazy power-ups! Go on the offensive with Carousel and make your opponent’s Matrix shift to the left after each move, or trigger Let it Rain and dump blocks on top of them. Buzz Saw helps you advance by clearing away a number of your lines, especially useful when you’re in a spot of trouble.
• Marathon – Complete level 15 and rack up as many points as you can.
• Endless – Keep clearing lines until your stamina runs out!
• Ultra – Race to score as many points possible before time runs out in this three-minute challenge.
• Sprint – Clear 40 lines as quickly as you can.
• Battle – Go head-to-head to knock out 1-4 challengers.
• Challenge – With four mode variants, be prepared for a variety of challenges that will put any player’s determination to the test:
o Master – The Tetriminos drop instantly and appear at the bottom.
o Rotation Lock – The orientations of the Tetriminos are random and you cannot rotate them.
o Escalation – As the game levels up, you’ll have to clear more lines.
o Invisible – The Tetriminos become invisible as they drop to the bottom.

Check out the gallery below for some screenshots of Tetris Ultimate.

Source: Ubisoft PR

For the first time since its launch, Wii U will not be receiving any Assassin’s Creed games. This is in part due to sales. In the case of Assassin’s Creed Unity, it’s also a result of the Wii U being a bit underpowered when compared to other consoles.

Ubisoft creative director Alex Amancio explained to RedBull:

“It couldn’t, it really couldn’t. I mean this is why we from the beginning, this was going to be a new-gen-only title, because the crowds aren’t aesthetic, they actually have impact. If we did anything to hinder that or to reduce that it would have a detrimental impact, it wouldn’t be the same experience. I don’t think that would be fair to fans, to sell the same game but with different levels of experience. Even the seamless nature of the series and the scale of the game right, we couldn’t do that. We never load Paris. It wouldn’t be possible, in our minds we’d be cheating fans by providing a lesser version of the same game.”

As for Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, the same logic can’t be applied. Wii U not getting that game ultimately comes back to the point of Ubisoft being concerned about low sales.

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Ubisoft announced earlier this month that Watch Dogs will be heading to North America and Europe in November. As it turns out, the game will be available in Japan as well. A listing on Amazon reveals that Watch Dogs is due out on December 4 in the country.

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Ubisoft prepared a few special releases for Watch Dogs in Europe, including the Dedsec and Vigilante Editions. These were originally thought to be coming to Wii U, but UK retailer GAME has now indicated otherwise.

“It is with great disappointment that we can confirm that unfortunately on this occasion Ubisoft will not be producing either the Dedsec or Vigilante editions on Wii U,” GAME said in a recent email sent out to consumers. Those who pre-ordered either of the two versions are now being switched to the GAME-exclusive Special Edition.

For those wondering, the Special Edition seems to feature a bit of exclusive digital content. It includes the “Breakthrough” mission pack as well as the “Vehicle Expert” pack. These sound like DLC items to me (unless I’m missing/misunderstanding something), which makes things a bit confusing given how, just yesterday, Ubisoft confirmed that there are no plans to bring Watch Dogs’ downloadable content to Wii U.

Thanks to Derek for the tip.

CVG is reporting that Ubisoft has created a dedicated “core team” within the company featuring members from the Child of Light development group.

In an interview with the site, Ubisoft Montreal’s VP of creative Lionel Raynaud said:

“We are super happy with Child of Light. The team did a good job and the game had a great reception. We were proud to deliver something new and unique – a lot of people were surprised that Montreal was delivering this kind of game. The team learned a lot about RPG mechanics during development and this has resulted in us creating a core team. The people who made this game now want to work together again, whether it’s on a small game or not. This dynamic has incredible value in the industry and it’s what we want to do: we want to create core teams that want to make great games.”

“So yes, we will encourage other initiatives like Child of Light and there’s a chance that we will have many more games like that in the future. I already have many different projects that are in the pitch stage – I even had one in my office this morning, which was super exciting.”

Plourde himself has “moved on” from the Child of Light team to work on a different project. However, the chance to work on a smaller game provided him with the opportunity “to grow and try something different.”

“It wasn’t the most commercial idea so it became very personal – I even did a lot of the PR myself; GDC talks, global tours etc. I have moved on. I guess I’m a special snowflake in this case, because I hate being stuck in one place. At some point somebody put me in a room and said, ‘Pat, you’re the Rainbow Six guy!’ or ‘You’re the Assassin’s Creed guy!’ but I said no, even after Far Cry.”

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