Ah, good old Ubisoft. A company that was well known for its amazing franchises, is now only a shadow of its former self. Back in August, the French company revealed that it will be focusing its efforts on the F2P model for its PC franchises. And although we are against it, we can acknowledge and respect its decision. During an investor conference call, that took place a couple of days ago, Ubisoft further explained its decision to move on to this model and claimed that this model could also benefit full priced triple-A games. Naturally, a lot of people were quick enough to jump on the “oh_my_God_I_hate_you_Ubisoft” bandwagon, but wait a minute… this is something that most companies are doing these days so why should we point our gun at only Ubisoft?
Stephanie Perotti, Ubisoft’s worldwide director of online, said during the investor call that “Free-to-play is a very flexible business model.” and that “players have the capability to spend more than in a traditional model.”
Stephanie then added they will be able to control everything, from pricing to marketing, as they were an online store, and that Settlers Online might make more money – in four years – than the entire series did on the PC in nine years.
Stephanie then concluded:
“There will be free-to-play on consoles. But in the future, with games like Watch Dogs, we could see more opportunity for $60 games to learn from the free-to-play model. The next generation will offer more and more item-based content.”
Now I know, this whole thing sounds a bit harsh but what we actually see here is what most publishers are doing these days. Do you really think that your triple-A high priced games are ‘full’ games? Didn’t Mass Effect 3 teach you anything? Have you forgotten about Oblivion’s Horse Armour DLC? Have you forgotten why DICE decided not to offer mod tools (and no, that was not due to the engine’s complexity)? Or how about the Battlelog requirement? Have you forgotten all those unrealeased games that have Day-1 DLCs already?
No our dear readers, this is nothing new and is happening as we speak. Publishers are already taking advantage of the F2P model by offering items, hats, skins or whatever for those willing to pay a few extra bucks. Publishers are already ‘locking’ their games in attempt to stop mods and forward their DLCs. Publishers are already utilizing third-party tools in order to control everything within their games.
Question now is – how far will Ubisoft take this model with their next-generation games? One can only hope that the French company won’t be as greedy as hell to charge for a full priced game and cut half of its content. But then again, that’s something that is already happening (via the form of DLC packs), therefore it will be interesting to see how things will unfold.
However, and even though we can relate to how most gamers feel about Ubisoft, we’ll have to back them up on this. The company went ahead and said what their current plans are. In other words, they were honest. They are after profits and although they are greedy, they are honest. And that’s something we can respect. After all, that’s what we’ve been asking in the first place, right? And even though truth can be harsh, we’d take it over those PR craps (from other companies) anytime.