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Ubisoft To Focus On More “High-End Free-To-Play” Games [Update]

Update: Ubisoft has recently made some clarifications regarding its new game release strategy. Kakuchopurei has updated the article to reflect the changes.

Ubisoft just announced on its full-year earnings call this week that it will be diversifying its triple-A “3 to 4 premium titles” release strategy. Instead, the company will be launching “high-end free-to-play” games for all of its biggest franchise.

To quote Ubisoft’s chief financial officer Frederick Duguet on this shift:

“In line with the evolution of our high-quality line-up that is increasingly diverse, we are moving on from our prior comment regarding releasing 3-4 premium AAAs per year.

It is indeed no longer a proper indication of our value creation dynamics. For example, our expectation for Just Dance and Riders Republic are consistent with some of the industry’s AAA performers.

Additionally, we are building high-end free-to-play games to be trending towards AAA ambitions over the long-term.

This is purely a financial communication evolution and doesn’t change the fact that we continue to expect a high cadence of content delivery including powerful premium and free-to-play new releases.”

Ubisoft is going along with this plan with its recent announcement of mobile and standalone spin-offs of The Division franchise, with the latter being a new console and PC title called The Division: Heartland. The game will be developed by Red Storm Entertainment.

Ubisoft’s most popular F2P title, the Smash Bros clone Brawlhalla, may have contributed to Ubisoft’s new F2P plan. However, this doesn’t mean the company will be reducing its triple-A game-making efforts. Here’s an updated statement from Ubisoft to clarify the matter:

“Our intention is to deliver a diverse line-up of games that players will love – across all platforms. We are excited to be investing more in free-to-play experiences, however we want to clarify that this does not mean reducing our AAA offering.

Our aim is to continue to deliver premium experiences to players such as Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Riders Republic and Skull and Bones to name a few while also expanding our Free to Play portfolio and strengthening our brands to reach even more players.”

Speaking of which, the following Ubisoft games will be out before 31st March 2022 (via Daniel Ahmad):

  • Far Cry 6
  • Rainbow Six Quarantine
  • Riders Republic
  • The Division: Heartland
  • Roller Champions
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake

Ubisoft Singapore’s multiplayer shipfaring pirate game Skull and Bones will be out between 1st April 2022 and 31st March 2023. Other Ubisoft titles still in development include Avatar, Beyond Good & Evil 2, and a new Star Wars game.

As for Assassin’s Creed? Ubisoft will be expanding Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s post-launch DLC programme to make it “the biggest, longest, and strongest” possible; far more than any other entry. With the AC franchise revenue up 50% year-over-year, Ubisoft still has plans for the long-running open-world adventure franchise.

 

 

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