Ubisoft Wants to End Finite Experiences in its Single-Player Games, Prefers Endless Content

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Jul 4, 2018 12:57 PM
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Ubisoft’s shift towards games as a service has been well documented. The likes of Rainbow Six Siege, For Honor, and Ghost Recon Wildlands have all ably demonstrated how a game can have long legs, particularly in its multiplayer modes. Ubisoft’s plans for GaaS don’t end there though, as vice president Lionel Raynaud has said the French publisher intends to phase out “finite experiences” entirely, even for its single-player games.

For all Ubisoft’s GaaS success, it still has a number of huge, primarily single-player driven titles like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and Splinter Cell. We’re gradually seeing these shift away from the ‘once and done’ approach though, with Ubisoft looking to explore how single-player games can live on long-term.

“What drove this is the will to not give finite experiences. The idea was that you have this conflict, and the resolution, and then it’s finished – you’ve killed the bad guy, for instance. We build a strong nemesis, and the goal of the game is to kill him or free the country, we’ve done that a few times in our games. But when you succeed, you have to leave the game, because there is nothing else to do,” explains Raynaud in a corporate update.

“So the goal was to break this, and say that you will be the hero of a region or population many times, not just once. And if you get rid of a dictator or an oppressor, something else is going to happen in the world, and you will have a new goal.”

Precisely where you stand on this is going to vary greatly from person to person. Ubisoft clearly envisages single-player games that just never end, with a constant stream of (presumably paid) content that can keep dishing out new adventures until players are bored. On the one hand, this means more of the games we love. On the other, this could be seen as the destruction of the cohesive, unified and complete experience that many want from their single-player games. There’s a lot to be said for a grand narrative with a decisive and climactic ending, and drip feeding out new baddies and areas ad infinitum could rob Ubisoft games of their impact.

What do you think then, would you prefer to see Ubisoft’s single-player games take this longer-term approach with more bite-sized stories to tell, or are you a fan of a game having a grand narrative and a definitive finale?

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12:01 Jul-06-2018

Yeah, never going to happen.
Game publishers talk big game of infinite experiences but tey do develop more games and they do want us to buy their shiny new games, so there's only a finite number of infinite experiences players can humanly engage in. Publishers will take a hit oif they keep up the games a s a service shenanigans. That's just basic economics, baby!

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15:18 Jul-05-2018

on one hand, I agree that this might not necessarily be a good idea, on the other, Ubisoft's done crazy stuff before, I'm not gonna pass judgement until it's been put into action

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12:47 Jul-05-2018

Clearly it's about money. Ubisoft doesn't care about developing a complete finished product, they never have. Ubisoft is about to go BACK on my do not buy list!

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05:11 Jul-05-2018

As it stands now I already have a bit of an issue with a lot of games (mostly RPG) that put a bunch of content AFTER the actual story is over and done with. I'll keep playing occasionally, but honestly once you've accomplished the core mission of the game and you've wrapped the story elements up nice and neat, the point of the game quickly vanishes. If I want an endless power-grind I'll play Diablo III, thanks. But endless single-player story-driven games? No thank you.

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03:41 Jul-05-2018

I still don't like their desision in Odyssey for the option to choose between female and male.I liked what they did in Origins because both characters had a story ,now in Odyssey it's gone.

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02:12 Jul-05-2018

i don't want repeatative gameplay

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21:53 Jul-04-2018

If that affect the quality of the game (story) , no sorry because ubisoft made a lot of great story driven games and that what makes me like old ubisoft games like assassin's creed 2 or far cry 3 but now.... they are in the wrong way like most developers of today that just destroy singleplayer content and try to replace it with online and full of MTX and ****.

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21:20 Jul-04-2018

soooo basically they wanna become the paradox of single player games?

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20:35 Jul-04-2018

Isn't this basically what makes games like TES or Fallout so great? Don't understand why people seem so upset about it.
All it means is that they want you to have stuff to do after you finished the "main questline" and if that's done right I don't see what's bad about it.


Then again I'd never buy a ubisoft game anyways.

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22:05 Jul-04-2018

well as me and most people understood this its that they want to make infinite main questline something like in some MMORPG where they constantly update the story and when its end it actually isnt and its continue

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17:21 Jul-04-2018

If Ubisoft(or any developer) will make single player games as a service like online games I won't buy them anymore. A single player games must have a final.

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18:40 Jul-04-2018

I disagree that they must have a final!

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19:08 Jul-04-2018

y are right simulators dont need to have final

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15:59 Jul-04-2018

Everything have an end even our life has an end,so The games also must have an end like us.So,the idea of a long term games is a bad idea.For instance,when we watch a movie it has 1,30 hour or 2 hours as period,so. it has a start and end..

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16:19 Jul-04-2018

but like us we are trying to make us endless same as games :P
tho i dont like never ending idea

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15:37 Jul-04-2018

Endless content over a finite ballad sounds great for me. Then again we are talking about Ubi so it just means an endless flow of DLC and crap paid content, right?

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15:35 Jul-04-2018

But when I end a story driven game I'm fine and good. I don't see a reason to come back to it anytime soon and I'm quite happy with having completed a story from beginning to the end, even more so if the story is worth playing.
But I guess If i'm not constantly playing your game than I'm not a constant stream of revenue, so I get their "troubles".

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15:40 Jul-04-2018

I don't think they understand the fact that they will have to choose between yearly sequels and GaaS they're going with now. Both doesn't work. Especially now when every publisher wants their games to be a long time commitment, you won't be able to pump out so many games yearly as a collective because people won't have time to play them. Especially if you over-saturate your own market yourself.

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15:32 Jul-04-2018

i get bored easily of singleplaer games once i finshed them, because that´s mostly the case with single player experience, it has to come to an end and i hardly replay some important RPG like the witcher or mass effect wich im playing the trilogy now.

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15:31 Jul-04-2018

Yeah Ubisoft, and i have time and patience to play the same game 'till i die. Good things don't last forever ubi, just look at the oldies from previous gens...

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15:23 Jul-04-2018

Soo, being criticized of copy/pasting empty open worlds & content over the past 2 years leads them to the exactly opposite conclusions...


Meh...why even bother anymore..

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14:11 Jul-04-2018

Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? Insanity is doing the exact… same f*ing thing… over and over again, expecting… st to change.

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15:17 Jul-04-2018

if there was ever a place to quote this... this is it!

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13:49 Jul-04-2018

That's the difference with sp and mp games. MP you keep going and going, SP is SUPPOSED to end. It's a story, Start, middle, finish. Every story has to have some sort of ending....Personally I start to get bored of repetitive stuff, and love finishing a game and changing it to the 'Completed' category on steam, but hey, that's just me....

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13:45 Jul-04-2018

This makes perfect sense, given how successful endless content games are. So long as it doesn't mean the game is "half finished on launch" then I'm okay with it

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13:36 Jul-04-2018

Translation: Our goal is not only to take your money once but many times :v

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