Like its Hellene predecessor Origins, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey will have a new game+ mode that allows users to keep playing long after they've beaten the main story. But then again this really shouldn't be a surprise.
When Ubisoft creative director Jonathan Dumont told Game Rant that yes, Odyssey will have a new game+ offering, and no, it won't be available at launch, both of these shouldn't be a big shock. It's absolutely welcome news to gamers everywhere, especially given Odyssey's branching RPG mechanics that will allow unique interactions and world-shifting events. Not only can we play Odyssey for longer but we can also take the paths we didn't take the first time around. This folds neatly into Ubisoft's current digital-first plan that ultimately wants gamers playing for as long as possible.
Like other major publishers, Ubisoft is banking strongly on engagement. But the French games-maker has found a unique way to mesh its live services into its singleplayer games by folding online-driven events and rotating quests into its games (look at AC: Origins and more recently Far Cry 5 as examples).
The publisher has proven singleplayer doesn't have to automatically mean offline; the two can mesh to breathe new life into the game over time. Remember that Ubisoft says Odyssey will keep players busy for years to come thanks to its strategic content roadmap.
Also remember that Odyssey will likely be monetized in a similar fashion as Origins. We should see Ubisoft sell optional convenience items such as weapons, armor, and crafting materials in an in-game storefront. After all, engagement means nothing unless you can successfully monetize it.
The screenshots above show that Odyssey's item loadouts and inventory are very similar to Origins, and weapon/item drops should be RNG-based too. This strongly indicates a similar microtransaction pattern--a pattern that led me to predict Origins had mTX options before it was confirmed.
Outside of free updates, new items, and other engagement plans, one of the best age-old ways to keep users in your singleplayer game is a new game+ mode. If anything this is an extension of Ubisoft's multi-pronged strategy with Assassin's Creed and similar games.
We could even see a season pass of DLC content being added for further macrotransaction earnings. Ubisoft is among one of the most successful publishers at monetizing its games via microtransactions and other recurring revenue sources, and every year the company aims to one-up its previous PRI (player recurring investment) numbers.
Ubisoft hasn't given a definitive timeline on Odyssey's new game+ mode just yet.
We should see it roll out a few months after launch (maybe in January or thereabouts) to catalyze engagement following release, but it's also important to give players enough time to digest the main game first. With many major AAA hits coming in October (Red Dead Redemption 2, Black Ops 4, Battlefield V) Ubi might give us more time than it did with Origins.
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey will launch on October 5, 2018 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
"For the last three years, the team at Ubisoft Quebec has been creating an exciting new chapter for the Assassin's Creed franchise. In Assassin's CreedÃ,Â® Odyssey, the action takes place in Ancient Greece, a world rich with myths and legend, in fifth century BC during the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens. Playing as Alexios or Kassandra, a mercenary of Spartan blood sentenced to death by their family, players will embark on an epic journey from a young outcast to a legendary hero and uncover the truth about their mysterious lineage.
"Assassin's Creed Odyssey is an ambitious action role-playing game that places choice at the center of the experience.
"An all-new interactive dialogue system empowers players to forge their own path and impact the game's world, characters and story to shape the future of Greece. Players will customize weapons and gear, master and equip new special abilities, and charge into massive battles between Sparta and Athens, pitting hundreds of soldiers against each other. The return of open-world naval combat allows players to seamlessly explore the open seas, customize their ship and recruit their own crew with unique perks.
"With the entire country of Greece to discover, from pristine beaches to vibrant cities, from the heights of snowy mountain peaks to the depths of the Aegean Sea, players will encounter Ancient Greece's famous figures and myths as they live their own odyssey."