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French megapublisher Ubisoft reported its earnings yesterday, and chief monetary officer Frederick Duguet gave some perception into how the corporate creates worth for its shareholders. During a convention name with traders, Duguet stated that releasing three-to-four annual blockbusters isn’t “a proper indication of [Ubisoft’s] value-creation dynamics.” Instead, Ubisoft expects to make more cash from specializing in extra free-to-play live-service video games.

Many followers took Duguet’s feedback to imply that Ubisoft goes to make fewer triple-A video games. But the corporate adopted up with an announcement right now to alleviate these issues.

Here’s that assertion from a Ubisoft spokesperson:

Our intention is to ship a various line-up of video games that gamers will love — throughout all platforms. We are excited to be investing extra in free-to-play experiences, nevertheless we wish to make clear that this doesn’t imply lowering our triple-A providing. Our purpose is to proceed to ship premium experiences to gamers akin to Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six: Quarantine, Riders Republic, and Skull and Bones, to call just a few, whereas additionally increasing our free-to-play portfolio and strengthening our manufacturers to achieve much more gamers.

To translate, Ubisoft is mainly saying that that is about doing extra with free-to-play.

“[Duguet’s comment was] in reference to free-to-play becoming a larger share of the revenue pie, not an indication that there will be less traditional paid games like Assassin’s Creed,” Ubisoft senior analyst Sean Lama stated on Twitter. “The content mix is expanding, not changing. A good [comparison] is the evolution of Call of Duty since Warzone.”

Call of Duty nonetheless has a premium possibility that launches ever fall at retail, however Activision additionally runs the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty Mobile.

Ubisoft was already making fewer video games

During a 2018 presentation for traders, Ubisoft chief govt officer Yves Guillemot stated the corporate needed to make fewer video games. Rainbow Six: Siege was ready to usher in regular, predictable income for years because of its live-service parts, and the corporate needed to speculate extra in that mannequin.

“[Ubisoft’s] success reflects the industry’s move towards a model that is less dependent on releasing new games,” Guillemot stated in 2018. “New releases now only represent a part of our business, which is now focused on long-term engagement with our player communities.”

As a part of that technique, Ubisoft gave up on annual releases for video games like Assassin’s Creed. Instead of releasing a brand new Assassin’s Creed yearly, it’s now frequently taking a 12 months off. To compensate, it’s making these video games even bigger and with extra hooks to maintain gamers engaged for weeks and months.

Assassin’s Creed and Tom Clancy video games will nonetheless act as pillars for Ubisoft’s income. But it additionally expects its progress to return from spending much less to supply fewer video games. And these video games can be on-line, related, and have long-term engagement. That was true in 2018 as effectively.

“We overhauled our portfolio, developing numerous multiplayer games in recent years which have dramatically increased player engagement in the Ubisoft world,” Guillemot stated in 2018. “Our players not only play for more hours at a time, but do so over a period of months or even years. We are thus able to offer them new experiences and content, thereby extending the lifetime of our games.”

That’s Ubisoft’s plan for the newly introduced The Division: Heartland. This free-to-play shooter will act as an additive expertise to the premium Division video games. And count on the writer to do extra free-to-play video games similar to this.


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