Did Ubisoft break its promise to gamers? It appears so

Ubisoft's upcoming games pipeline suggests the publisher is accelerating too quickly into risky free-to-play projects & endeavors.

@DeekeTweak
Published Mon, Apr 25 2022 9:31 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, May 17 2022 1:00 PM CDT

A compilation of Ubisoft's confirmed and leaked games suggests the publisher has broken its promise to gamers.

Did Ubisoft break its promise to gamers? It appears so 24 | TweakTown.com
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Back in 2019, Ubisoft hit live service breakpoint: Ghost Recon Breakpoint underperformed, signalling a major re-think for the publisher. Ubisoft strategized by delaying Watch Dogs Legion and Rainbow Six Extraction and promised to differentiate its games to ensure players have a wider offering of distinct experiences.

"While many of our titles are strongly differentiated, we need to ensure this is the case for all of them. We are already acting on these learnings and tackling these issues head on," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in 2019.

Fast-forwarding to 2022 and we see that Ubisoft's pipeline of upcoming titles is quite derivative. Ubisoft is developing a multitude of free-to-play games (which it refers to as low-risk) that aim at broader audiences. Ubisoft seems to be experimenting with a lot of F2P titles that share very similar qualities, namely action-based shooters in a commoditized live service environment, likely with the goal of winning over Fortnite and Warzone players.

Did Ubisoft break its promise to gamers? It appears so 23 | TweakTown.com

We've compiled a list of most of the currently announced and unconfirmed/leaked Ubisoft games in one place. The list consists of 20 games that range from premium titles to F2P and even VR games that have been put together from various leaks, rumors, and reports.

Ubisoft Games Pipeline

ANNOUNCED

  • Skull and Bones
  • Mario +_ Rabbid Sparks of Hope
  • Assassin's Creed Infinity
  • Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
  • Project Q
  • The Division Heartland
  • xDefiant
  • Ghost Recon Frontline
  • Rainbox Six Siege Mobile
  • AC Valhalla Dawn of Ragnarok
  • Splinter Cell
  • Prince of Persia Sands of Time Remake
  • Beyond Good and Evil 2
  • Roller Champions

UNANNOUNCED

  • Just Dance 2023
  • Assassin's Creed Rift
  • Far Cry 7
  • Ghost Recon OVER
  • PATHFINDER
  • Assassin's Creed NEXUS VR

There are seven free-to-play games in the list and all of them are shooters. Some, like Project Q, Rainbow Six Mobile, and xDefiant, are hero-based shooters.

It seems Ubisoft has multiple games that lead to the same destination: Action-based, free-to-play online shooters. Right now that does seem to be the most lucrative segment of the video games industry, with Fortnite and Warzone both bringing in billions after Microsoft and Sony take their cuts.

The aim comes at an interesting time for Ubisoft, who in 2020 overhauled its "editorial team," which is the group responsible for making every high-level decision with Ubisoft's game IPs, to help meet the common goal of differentiation.

One goal supersedes all others, though: the quest for digital dominance. This quest emphasizes more live service games, monetization, and entry points into gaming's most lucrative segment.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explains the F2P plan:

"80% of expenses are being used to substantially expand premium offerings in 3 ways," Guillemot said, outlining the following:

  1. By growing our existing franchises
  2. Creating new IPs with emphasis on player engagement and social interactions
  3. By adding blockbuster entertainment brands to our portfolio

Around 20% of our current 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."

"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."

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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