Ubisoft just had their full-year earnings call and it seems they want to focus on more “high-end” free-to-play titles with “AAA ambitions over the long term”.
According to VGC, Ubisoft’s recent earnings call involved discussions about becoming less reliant on the AAA titles they’re known for in favour of focussing more on free-to-play titles of similar quality. Apparently, premium titles just aren’t a sure deal when it comes to value creation any more. Understandable, Apex Legends is due to pull in a sweet $500 million for EA this year even though nobody has to pay anything to play it.
”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.”
This doesn’t mean Ubisoft is going to stop making premium AAA games entirely, they’re unlikely to abandon beloved franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry.
”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 has already ventured into free-to-play territory with underperforming battle royale Hyper Scape, but they’re hoping upcoming The Division: Heartland will really show off their intentions for high quality free-to-play games.
”In terms of Heartland, the way we think about building the audience reach growth for our biggest franchises, so starting with The Division, is to come with high quality free-to-play games.”
Since they want to, at least initially, link these future free-to-play titles to existing franchises, don’t be surprised to see a free-to-play Assassin’s Creed in the future (battle royale assassins, anyone?).