Thread: Ubisoft says it’s changing strategy to focus on more ‘high-end free-to-play’ games


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Ubisoft is shifting away from its traditional strategy of releasing 3-4 premium AAA titles each year, but plans to launch “high-end free-to-play” games for all its biggest franchises.

The company provided an update on its game development strategy during its full-year earnings call on Tuesday, when it said it intends to be less reliant on AAA releases as part of its overall product mix.

Ubisoft’s chief financial officer Frederick Duguet:

In line with the evolution of our high-quality line-up that is increasingly diverse, we are moving on from our prior comment regarding releasing 3-4 premium AAAs per year. It is indeed no longer a proper indication of our value creation dynamics. For example, our expectation for Just Dance and Riders Republic are consistent with some of the industry’s AAA performers. Additionally, we are building high-end free-to-play games to be trending towards AAA ambitions over the long-term. This is purely a financial communication evolution and doesn’t change the fact that we continue to expect a high cadence of content delivery including powerful premium and free-to-play new releases.

It is disappointing to see so much of a push toward free to play. Unfortunately, I think this model is doomed to implode if the market leans too heavily into it. How many F2P games can the even market support at once before they hit serious diminishing returns?
As the resident Ubisoft game fan around here, I hope it doesn't affect their "premium" triple A development output. I imagine it will, though.
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Game design for free games means more "efficient" mechanics to "motivate" users to spend as much money as possible. Depending on the approach by the devs/publishers, it can feel forced and suck the fun out of the experience for me. I use games to relax and enjoy my very limited free time, and when playing free and/or mtx heavy games, can't stop analyzing how that game wants to manipulate me into spending money.

Curious about their approach and how this will influence their game design.
As the resident Ubisoft game fan around here, I hope it doesn't affect their "premium" triple A development output. I imagine it will, though.
I too like a Ubisoft game on occasion, but the quote in the first post seems to suggest that their AAA output is going to drop in order to focus on these F2P options.

"we are moving on from our prior comment regarding releasing 3-4 premium AAAs per year."
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Jeez, this could be uber shit, Far Cry: ND was already a mtx infested pile of shit that I had to put down after 45 mins due to its design.

Please don't ruin FC6, I'd quite like to play that because I really enjoyed FC5, I was playing solo and I loved the AI could drive you to any waypoint you set on the map (within reason) while you shot things/people, no one seemed to talk about that at all.

The 900th delay of Skull & Bones is worrying news given this news. Don Casanova is going to be heartbroken!

I really hoped the next AC would be a return to form (Last one I liked was Unity, I don't give a shit about the story in an AC game I just loved clearing the map and dressing up my "paper doll") with graphics that wow as much as Unity did (and still does in many ways) back then, but "free-to-play" and "epoch-making graphics showcase" don't exactly usually come together...

Don't worry @Zefah, I got your back on Ubisoft games, I enjoy them for what they are. They used to be kings of open world but its been downhill for 5-6 titles for me personally, I know people love Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla but that combat just isn't for me, I want my extremely scripted, but beautiful, motion captured animations back.
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I like F2P games, it means that I can try it without spending a dime and if I like it I can keep playing and if I don't then I just play something else. Not that I want only F2P games, but I don't hate them.

Ubisoft should make more games using the UbiArt Frameworks engine! All of those games were BEAUTIFUL!

Yeah, Child of Light and Valiant Hearts are both excellent
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Ughhhhh. Least it's not Bethesda charging you full price for F2P mechanics. God I hate what they did to Fallout :/.

But back to Unisoft. Ughhhhhhh!
For all their multiplayer games this should be a fairly seamless transition. Will be curious how they monetize their single player games like Assasin's Creed. Gate Content? Cuz vanity items dont mean jack if you cant show them off to other players. Sell "cheats" perhaps?