Ubisoft is know for many different, big-budget AAA titles, which have been available to purchase for $60, for at least the past decade. However, the latest earnings call has seemed to shift the company’s focus away from the traditional yearly big named games, more towards the free-to-play market. Now that it’s become clear what Ubisoft’s approach is, it isn’t as drastic as once thought.
The publisher said in a statement a reduction in AAA output will not happen. Instead, Ubisoft will try to support these games while simultaneously reaching further into free-to-play.
“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,” a spokesperson for Ubisoft told GameSpot. “Our aim is to continue to deliver premium experiences to players such as Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Riders Republic and Skull & Bones to name a few while also expanding our Free to Play portfolio and strengthening our brands to reach even more players.”
Analyst Daniel Ahmad of Niko Partners shared his thoughts via Twitter, saying “the proper interpretation of this is not that Ubisoft will deliver less AAA premium games, but that its other non AAA premium content, such as F2P or even Just Dance, will become more important to the business. It’s not about less, it’s about more.”
As initially reported by VGC, Ubisoft’s chief financial officer Fredrick Duguet stated in the call that the company believes its game lineup is “increasingly diverse” and that it no longer expects to pump out 3–4 “premium” AAA launches every year. The company would prefer to invest heavily into free-to-play in order to push those towards the AAA level.
He went on to add this is “purely a financial communication” and that Ubisoft will continue to put out big titles. However, this represents a notable change in Ubisoft’s position within the gaming industry, and likely the community as a result. Players will no longer see a consistent release schedule of titles like Assassin’s Creed, The Division, Watch Dogs, and Far Cry games.
In other Ubisoft news, the company just announced that pirate game Skull & Bones was delayed again. Additionally, the Assassin’s Creed franchise had the best year in its history thanks to the release of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.