With pre-release Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Ubisoft chose this week to rebrand its Ubisoft+ subscription services and offer the PC version of its “Classics” tier at a lower price. A big part of this is making players “comfortable” with not owning their games, says Philippe Tremblay, the publisher’s director of subscriptions.
It’s hard to keep track of how often Ubisoft has rebranded its online portals for its games with Uplay, Ubisoft Game Launcher, Ubisoft Connect, Uplay+, Uplay Passport, Ubisoft Club, and now Ubisoft+ Premium and Ubisoft+ Classics (all recent names). about ten years. It also seems a bit puzzling why there would be a demand for any of them, considering Ubisoft only released five non-mobile games last year.
But apparently there’s a demand, Tremblay says an interview with GI.biz. It claims that the company’s subscription service had its biggest month ever in October 2023, with the service having “millions” of subscribers and “more than half a billion hours” played. Of course, much of this could be a result of various moments, such as Ubisoft refusing to release games on Steam, forcing PC gamers to use their service, and possibly opting for a monthly subscription over the full price of the game they’re looking for. to buy. But it’s still clear that people choose to use it.
But it’s still strange why enough people would want to subscribe to a single publisher’s output (it’s not cheap at $17.99 a month). This isn’t a criticism of Ubisoft’s games (although you might want to apply it to your own as well) but it’s something that would be equally true if it were Activision Blizzard or EA.
You can subscribe to Game Pass or PlayStation Plus and get a wide selection of hundreds of games from dozens of publishers, or you can pay significantly more to only get games made by a single publisher, actually a very different publisher. style of play. TV networks and movie companies have tried it, and those numbers are dwindling fast; many are already compromising by returning their programs to larger broadcasters.
But what’s even more chilling about all of this is Tremblay’s mention that Ubisoft wants to see a “consumer shift” similar to the one in the CD and DVD market, where people are switching to Spotify and Netflix instead of buying. allows physical media to be stored on its own shelves. While most people are being part of the problem (hello) they’re also thinking as a problemIt is very strange to see it expressed as if there is a mistaken opinion among the company’s target audience.
One of the things we’re seeing is that gamers are used to owning and owning their games, a little bit like a DVD. This is the consumer shift that needs to happen. They were relieved not to have CD collections or DVD collections. This is a transformation that is a little slower to happen [in games]. As players get comfortable with this, you won’t lose your progress. If you continue your game at another time, your progress file is still there. This was not deleted. You do not lose what you have created in the game or your commitment to the game. So it’s about feeling comfortable not owning your game.
Tremblay continues: GI.biz“But as people embrace this model, they’ll see that these games will exist, the service will continue, and you can access them whenever you want.” But… we know that’s not true! We know how often services are down, how many games are no longer available.
One of my favorite games of all time was published by Ubisoft in 2003. at the monument (Missing: Since January in the US) and it’s definitely not in the Classics line, I’m sure, because the company lost all rights to that product a long time ago. Luckily for me, I have a physical copy of this. However, there are no results for any of the other Ubisoft games from the early 2000s that I put on the Classics site. There’s no reason to think the same won’t be true of Ubisoft’s current games in 20 years.
Ubisoft still has plans to add streaming access to Activision Blizzard’s games to Ubisoft+, but that might seem odd considering the publisher’s recent acquisition by Microsoft. It would also seem pretty redundant, given that all the games will be coming to the much more mainstream Game Pass and won’t be behind the technical hurdle of streaming. And indeed Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is It is already playable on Epic Games Store if you pre-ordered there.
If for any reason you just admire Ubisoft’s output, then yes; You can play for $17.99 per month skull bones, avatar, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Year 1800And Crew: Motorfest right now, it’s much cheaper than buying them all individually. But you won’t have any of them, and if you want to keep them, you’ll have to keep paying the $18 a month forever until you can’t pay them anymore.