We’re just 12 days away from E3 2019 and we’re expecting the rumours and reveals to start rolling in thick and fast. Ubisoft looks to have inadvertently revealed one of its own after listing the ‘Ubisoft Pass Premium’ on the Uplay store.
The listing itself is incomplete, with no further details or even an image or logo to accompany it. But, judging from the name it looks as if Ubisoft is planning to launch its own EA Access-style subscription service for access to its library of games. Naturally, the listing has since been whipped down from the store.
Subscriptions reign supreme these days (shareholders adore them) and it would come as little surprise to see Ubisoft dabbling in the idea. In fact, five years ago Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said the French publisher was keeping a close eye on EA’s EA Access subscription service.
It’s slightly terrifying to me that EA’s Access program has been running for around five years now on Xbox One. On PC we get the choice between Origin Access Basic and Premier, with Premier including complete access to all EA games as and when they come out, including all additional content such as DLC expansion packs. Basically, for £90 (or £15/month) here in the UK you could play Battlefield V, FIFA 19, Madden 19, Anthem, etc, from launch in their complete versions. If you’re planning on buying at least two Electronic Arts games a year, then it’s a good deal.
However, the whole deal falls apart if EA’s relatively sparse number of offerings each year end up disappointing. Case in point - Anthem. I’m of the opinion that Ubisoft’s annual output is far, far stronger than EA these days, so there could certainly be good value in Ubisoft Pass Premium proposition if the pricing is right.
If we take a look at the last 12 months, for example, Ubisoft has released The Division 2, Anno 1800, Far Cry: New Dawn, Trials Rising, Starlink, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Transference, The Crew 2, and Far Cry 5. We’ve got Skull & Bones, The Settlers, Ghost Recon Breakpoint and, probably, Watch Dogs 3 right around the corner. There’s also a vast back catalogue which includes Rainbow Six, Prince of Persia, For Honor, Rayman, South Park, Splinter Cell, and heaps more. If Ubisoft fans could subscribe to a service to play all of these games, it would have the potential to be immensely popular.