Over the past few years, the industry of free-to-play games has been growing tremendously fast. The model is even seen as a standard for most online-only multiplayer-centric games now, and apparently Ubisoft wants to jump on board too as the company will focus more on free to play games in the future.
That’s not to say Ubisoft will no longer develop any AAA single player experiences, like their biggest hitters such as Assassins Creed, Far Cry etc. But during their recent earnings call - the same one that revealed Skull and Bones had been delayed again - Frederick Duguet, the Chief Financial Officer at Ubisoft, announced the company’s new plans.
Ubisoft’s previous commitment was to bring 3-4 “triple-A” premium titles a year, but that strategy is apparently “no longer a proper indication of [Ubisoft's] value creation dynamics.” Essentially, Ubisoft wants to grow their audience more, and by letting more players into their ecosystem with a F2P model they will be able to do just that.
As always, the decision comes down to money and how profitable free to play games generally are these days, so much so that they often make plenty more money compared to the traditional AAA premium single player titles.
However, Ubisoft isn’t looking to just cash in by making sub-standard F2P titles, and instead they will be “building high-end free-to-play games to be trending toward triple-A ambitions over the long term.”
“We think we have a great opportunity to meaningfully expand the audience of our biggest franchises,” said Duguet. “We've taken the time to learn from what we did last year with Hyper Scape. We're also learning with the launch we'll be making on Roller Champions, we've been learning a lot with Brawlhalla that is rapidly growing, and we think it is now the time to come with high-quality free-to-play games across all our biggest franchises, across all platforms.”
Games like Call of Duty Warzone and Fortnite have been extremely successful and lucrative, so it’s no surprise Ubisoft wants to try and jump on the bandwagon as well. In fact, the studio just announced The Division Heartland, a free to play sequel to the popular Division series.
What do you think? Are you interested in more free to play games? How about if they have the same AAA quality as premium single player titles? What else makes a good F2P game? And which Ubisoft franchise would you love to see go free-to-play? Let us know your thoughts!