Image: Ubisoft

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.”

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15 Comments

  1. In other words, Ubisoft’s installment of Star Wars will be a BF2 failure GaaS.

    I’m tired of this crap!

    Star Wars, Star Trek, etc., screw you all!

  2. These diverse experiences will feed on each other through complementary gameplay and business models.”

    Yeah, like the snake eating its own tail.

    F2P? Freeemium? No thanks. I’d rather not play anything.
    Live service? Not on my watch.

  3. In other words, it’s cheaper and more profitable for us to continue churning out JPEGs for Rainbow Six: Siege. Ubisoft should just enter the Pachinko market like Konami already and abandon video games altogether.
  4. I want to buy my game and be done. Get some DLC? Sure if I trust the company and it’s truly added content as opposed to cosmetic, filler, or a means to flesh out a game that was obviously scaled back for $$$. I will not support such models as F2P. I’ve had some high performance tablets over the course of the last ten or so years that and model has what’s largely prevented me from using them for gaming despite the increased specs over time. I definitely don’t want anything like that on any my PCs. Looks like uplay might not be getting reinstalled this year after all. As is, on the verge of dropping Origin soon too.

    I think I’m just too old and grumpy. Hey you F2Ps, get off my gaming lawn!

  5. I enjoyed mechwarrior online, which is f2p. I bought one of the clan invasion bundles (don’t even remember which one anymore) and treated that as my “purchase” of the game. Played hundreds of hours of it and have no regrets.
  6. I enjoyed mechwarrior online, which is f2p. I bought one of the clan invasion bundles (don’t even remember which one anymore) and treated that as my “purchase” of the game. Played hundreds of hours of it and have no regrets.

    I’d say that’s a good way to look at it. The few games I’ve tried over the years barely held me for more than a few minutes to an hour or so before the ads got me. If I’d gotten more out of one, and just a single purchase, I’d be happy.

  7. I’d say that’s a good way to look at it. The few games I’ve tried over the years barely held me for more than a few minutes to an hour or so before the ads got me. If I’d gotten more out of one, and just a single purchase, I’d be happy.

    MW:O is the only f2p that I’ve played. Very much like mechwarrior 2 / the old battletech Pods at virtual world – I played it free for several months on and off before committing any cash, and never had any commercials or anything like that to deal with. If I had to sit though commercials I never would have made it a week.

  8. The problem is that AAA games are becoming too expensive and too large to create in a timely enough fashion to release before they are outdated. Multiplayer games and live service games are vastly more profitable. Multiplayer games are easier to make and create content for while live service games can recoup their costs over several years. Of course, live service games are a risky proposition. For every Warframe or Destiny 2, you’ve probably got a few Anthems.
  9. I seem to play mostly F2P games lately. The vast majority of them I play less than the time it took me to download, but a handful keep my attention.

    A select few I have thrown some cash at to support the developer – and I have no problem doing that in moderation. But if a F2P game makes me feel like I need to spend money to enjoy it, I cut and run.

  10. I seem to play mostly F2P games lately. The vast majority of them I play less than the time it took me to download, but a handful keep my attention.

    A select few I have thrown some cash at to support the developer – and I have no problem doing that in moderation. But if a F2P game makes me feel like I need to spend money to enjoy it, I cut and run.

    The thing i dislike the most about f2p is the economics of it.
    Its clearly made to really take people’s money in a bad way, they are counting on addiction triggers and so on.
    The few and far between f2p games I have played that I would consider giving money to, I realize that money doesn’t go far at all, I mean nada.
    It seems that developers think 10 to 60 dollars is a joke to them. Normally amounts under 60 will not take you far in the rare f2p games I have played heck even $99 is crap in reality…, you can see this when you see how much of the gold or whatever units you would get for your actual money vs what you can get in-game with the game units, so often is so pathetic, its just a mayor rip-off.
    I guess f2p games works as you get addicts to pay and pay. Better than drugs I suppose, though similar triggers to gambling… Not as bad as loot boxes, I suppose ( loot boxes should be banned in my view… F2p, no so much I guess)
    Well anyway, if I saw in these games that 20$ took me far, and will last me lots and lots of items or upgrades and so on, yeah it woul be an easy consideration (under 20 even easier) approaching 40$ ok cool, but that should take me like super far, and keep me with game money for a really really long time… Anything above 40 is too hard for me to consider no matter what.
    Btw the f2p games I mean been on cellphone, I don’t know what f2p games look like on pc other than fornite I guess.

  11. The problem is that AAA games are becoming too expensive and too large to create in a timely enough fashion to release before they are outdated. Multiplayer games and live service games are vastly more profitable. Multiplayer games are easier to make and create content for while live service games can recoup their costs over several years. Of course, live service games are a risky proposition. For every Warframe or Destiny 2, you’ve probably got a few Anthems.

    People have been heralding the end of AAA games almost as long now as they did the end of PC Gaming. I don’t think it’s happening.
    I said this long ago, that the future of AAA game development lies in procedural asset generation using vast libraries and intelligent tools.

    Sure you can sell more car tires than airplane tires but that doesn’t mean all airplane tire manufacturers must go into making car tires. As it is an ultra-competitive business. Like multiplayer live service games. We see how many of them are flops. An AAA single player game you do once, and don’t have to pump resources into it for years. For live service MP games the majority of the work comes after release, keeping engagement high, maintaining influx of new players, etc.

    Besides live service games are almost always reliant on FOMO. When I see that I show myself out the door. Ubisoft even tried this with their AAA games like Ghost Recon. Adding timed events that you could only play when they said you can play them. I didn’t care. As much as I love Ghost Recon I’ll not participate in fomo events.

  12. So, let me pick. Should I gaf about a lazy pubs/dev that refuse to create a decent story-driven game for $60, plus a few inexpensive expansions that would bring QoL and hundreds/thousands of hours of fun gameplay OR should I accept the pubs/devs F2P(?) game and allow that game to jack me out of hundreds to thousands of dollars BECAUSE I GIVE A **** ABOUT MAKING A MULTI-BILLION COMPANY HAPPIER THAN MY **** SELF?!

    GTFOH!!

  13. I’m sitting here trying to imagine how you would do assassins creed as a mmo. I’m sure it could be done…

    Modern Era setting or Slight future setting. Everyone had a home animus device when a hack happens. Everyone is imprinted with assassin skills and abilities and language. (Or a percentage that would be good fits are) anther group recruits hunters and defenders and the war between agents of change and agents of reason breaks out on a world wide scale where the players represent one side or the other.

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