Ubisoft is still focusing primarily on high-production premium games and free-to-play takes a backseat.
Ubisoft's new free-to-play strategy won't disrupt its tentpole games, and the company has no plans to invest heavily into F2P. In a recent Q1 earnings call, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot confirms premium games are still the top priority, and the majority of dev expenses are spent on premium games.
"80% of expenses are being used to substantially expand premium offerings in 3 ways," Guillemot said, outlining the following:
- By growing our existing franchises
- Creating new IPs with emphasis on player engagement and social interactions
- By adding blockbuster entertainment brands to our portfolio
Only 20% of spending is being used for F2P games, which Guillemot describes as low risk.
"Around 20% of our currant investments are targeted at free-to-play to expand our brands' universes and bring them to a wider audience across all platforms including mobile. Each of these premium and free-to-play projects are built to maximize impact on each respective brands' universe."
For reference, Ubisoft spent 1.104 billion euros on games development expenses in FY2021. Assuming the 80% rate, Ubisoft spent around ~883 million euros on premium games development and the remaining ~221 million euros on free-to-play games.
"We are also convinced of the strategic value of re-investing a portion of our highly-profitable and cash-generating premium core business into free-to-play. This major segment indeed offers exciting growth and value creation opportunities for Ubisoft with an attractive risk-reward profile."
Ubisoft's upcoming free-to-play games include The Division Heartlands, the new xDefiant shooter, and Roller Champions.
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