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The Far Cry series won't end with three games. Ubisoft senior vice president of marketing and sales Tony Key says that Far Cry 3 has earned a sequel through its strong reviews and sales.
"We’re totally psyched from [Far Cry 3]," Key said in an interview with GameSpot. It’s a great brand, and now it’s got the recognition it deserves, so we’re clearly going to make another one: more on that soon."
Far Cry 3 was one of the last releases in the holiday season, making it feel like a bit of an after-thought. However, the game managed to surprise critics and gamers alike. The Metacritic rating across all three platforms averages out to around 90, making it one of the best-rated shooters of the year. Gamers purchased 4.5 million copies as of February. At the time, Ubisoft admitted that the game had exceeded their expectations. For basis of comparison, Far Cry 2 had sold about 2.9 million in the same time period.
"We have also re-established Far Cry as one of the major pillars of our offering for core gamers, with Far Cry 3 the highest rated shooter of 2012 for Xbox 360 and winning the Gamespot People's Choice Game of the Year award. We now have greater visibility in terms of future revenue and profitability for this franchise," said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot in February.
FC3 put players on the middle of a war-town island in the South Pacific. Jason Brody, a tourist, must rescue his friends from pirates. He has to travel through the open-world environment filled with enemy soldiers as well as hostile animals. The game was filled with numerous side activities such as hunting expeditions and bounties.
Over the past few years, open-ended games have become a large part of Ubisoft's core strategy. Assassin's Creed has developed into the company's flagship series, with each annual installment selling millions of copies. They plan to release Watch Dogs, the start of a new series, this fall as well. Key said in his Gamespot interview that Ubisoft will continues its commitment to sandbox games. Guess that means we can expect an open-ended Far Cry 4 as well?
"I think open world can represent the future of, you know, gaming, and that’s where we’re investing huge portions of our resources--because we believe that that is what consumers want."
Far Cry 4 hasn't officially been announced yet so it won't be here until 2014 at the earliest. If you're looking for more Far Cry in the meantime, note that Ubisoft has released a standalone expansion called Blood Dragon. Blood Dragon features the same open-world gameplay as FC3 but wraps it in a neon-bathed, retro package. The success of the expansion, with over 500,000 copies sold in two months, probably didn't hurt FC3's chances at a sequel.