Ubisoft to Reduce Reliance on AAA Releases, Increase Focus on F2P Games and Back Catalog

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Ubisoft has revealed that it will reduce its reliance on AAA releases and increase its focus on free-to-play games and older titles in its back catalog. The publisher’s new business model was touched upon by CFO Frederick Duguet in an earnings call today, who noted that Ubisoft would be looking more closely at alternate ways of increasing revenue outside of expensive blockbusters such as Far Cry, Watch Dogs, and Assassin’s Creed.

“We said for a number of years that our normal template is to come with either three or four AAA games, so we’ll stick to that plan for fiscal 2022,” said Duguet in a transcription provided by IGN. “But we see that we are progressively, continuously moving from a model that used to be only focused on AAA releases to a model where we have a combination of strong releases from AAA and strong back catalog dynamics, but also complimenting our program of new releases with free-to-play and other premium experiences.”

“In fiscal 2022, we will continue our evolution from a AAA release-centric model toward a model where AAA stands alongside new premium and free-to-play innovative experiences across platforms. These diverse experiences will feed on each other through complementary gameplay and business models.”

CEO Yves Guillemot also suggested that Ubisoft would be increasing its focus on older popular titles, such as Rainbow Six Siege, which continues to bring in millions of new players despite debuting over five years ago. The implication is that many of the developer’s future titles will lean heavily on the GaaS (games as a service) model.

“We are continuing to move toward an increasingly pronounced recurrence of our revenues on the back of growing audiences,” Guillemot said. “Therefore, we expect our highly-profitable back catalog to account for an even larger share of our business going forward.”

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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