“Why the hell is Ubisoft going to focus more on micro-transactions, instead of making new games?”
That is the question I asked myself
And to answer that question is pretty simple: Money….Okay, great that question’s answered, so that’s the end of this article! Thank you all for reading and I’ll see you guys next-
Wait, wait wait…Okay, so the answer is fairly simple. But let’s get deeper into it and see how this is concerning news moving forward and how we as gamers can possibly change this trend.
At a recent investors briefing Ubisoft laid out a lot of numbers regarding overall sales, and the company’s success in the past fiscal year. The company brought in a whopping 1.6 BILLION dollars worth of sales in the past year. Their digital sales in particular were very impressive as CEO Yves Guillemot boasted about how 50% of total sales were from digital sources. But these aren’t the numbers I want to talk about. It’s the stats regarding their online games and micro-transactions that has me thinking.
Guillemot talked about the success of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy games and its online communities. He said:
With 44 million unique registered players, the size of the Tom Clancy community has increased by almost 150% in less than 18 months. This impressive performance for a brand created almost 20 years ago clearly illustrates the strong popularity of Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Rainbow Six Siege, and The Division. These titles continue to beat records for player engagement and have seen a sharp rise in player recurring investment (aka Micro-transactions). Our results for 2016-17 demonstrate the success of our new model.
He further noted that Ubisoft’s future will see it focus on building the profitability of its existing titles rather than entirely on new releases.
Now, I don’t know about you, but this is not news that gets me giddy. Sure success for a company is never a bad thing, even though I haven’t cared about a Ubisoft game in what feels like a decade; but regardless, when a developer/publisher does well, it should be taken as a positive. But doing so well only through micro-transactions to the point where they want to focus LESS on making new titles, new content, new games, and only focus on pushing out more bullsh#t ways for them to scrounge money from gamers doesn’t seem like a pro-consumer business model, even if that’s what they’re trying to pull it off as here. And it’s not like they’re games are top notch multiplayer games like Overwatch and Rocket League, which are absolutely brilliant games that are nearly flawless when it comes to gameplay. Sure For Honour, Wildlands, and The Division have all sold well, and have solid online communities, but could you compare them in terms of quality to other triple A titles? No. They’re generic feeling, generic looking, Ubisoft games. Honestly, the last GOOD Ubisoft game I played was Child of Light. And that was an indie game made by a tiny part of their studio in Montreal; and it was great. Such a beautiful, and charming game, that felt unique and played well.
Listen, there is nothing wrong with Online Multiplayer games; even though I myself don’t really play anything online, I completely understand the importance and value of them, and to build a community around your game to extend its lifespan. I think that’s great. I also don’t completely mind Micro-Transactions and DLC as long as they are done right, and are giving players content that’s worth buying. But when a game like For Honour has absolutely ridiculous Micro-Transactions that are basically essential to the point of being the dreaded “pay-to-win” model that we see in so many cancerous mobile games; and people are still buying into it, it worries me because then this happens. It makes Ubisoft, one of the largest publishers in the industry, go, “hey, look? They’re eating it up! Let’s just do more of this and not waste resources into making actual games!” (insert maniacal laughter).
And when the most popular kid in school does something, it becomes a trend and gets followed by the rest. Unless people stop. It all goes back to speaking with your wallets. Stop buying pointless DLC, stupid character skins, and upgrades, and feeding the big fat corporate cow. If we don’t then we’re going to see many other companies follow suit and with the same sh#tty business practices.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below!