Ubisoft says gamers should just accept not owning their games

Cal Jeffrey

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Bottom line: Ubisoft is rebranding and restructuring its subscription service again. The platform will now offer two tiers called Ubisoft+ Premium and Ubisoft+ Classics. It's all a bit confusing, but Ubisoft executive Philippe Tremblay sorted it out while insinuating that we will soon not own our games.

On Monday, Ubisoft announced its Plus (Ubsoft+) subscribers would now have two choices to play their favorite games - Premium and Classics. The Premium tier goes for $18 per month on PC, Xbox, and Amazon Luna, while a Classics subscription is less than half the price at $8 but is only available on PC.

Ubisoft Director of Subscriptions Philippe Tremblay said the restructuring is a natural "evolution" of the service.

"We looked at the consumer behaviour and how people were interacting with our offer, and we saw an opportunity for us to evolve," Tremblay explained in a GamesIndustry.biz interview. "When we look at how gamers engage with our different games, we see that our back catalogue is still very active and alive. So we saw an opportunity to offer these worlds to our consumers for a lower fee."

Ubisoft+ Premium is the old Uplay+ subscription. It includes over 100 games from the company's catalog, including newer titles like Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Assassin's Creed Mirage, and the upcoming Skull and Bones. Premium members also have access to the Classics catalog.

Ubisoft+ Classics only allows access to about 50 games in the publisher's back catalog. While Classics is a standalone subscription for PC users, Sony cut a deal with Ubisoft to roll it into the PlayStation Plus Extra subscription in 2022. The newest Classics game available is the two-year-old Rainbow Six Extraction.

It's somewhat hard to believe Ubisoft is still running a subscription model. After all, its once separate Classics membership on PlayStation 4 and 5 is now homogenized into the PS+ mid-tier package, which goes for $15 per month or $135 per year. Ubisoft+ Premium is unavailable on Sony's console, but remains as an $18 per month add-on subscription for Xbox Game Pass.

Why anyone would want to pay a similar price or more for a subscription to one publisher's games is beyond me, but according to Tremblay, the numbers are there. He says players have spent billions of hours playing on Ubisoft+ over the last four years, with millions subscribing. However, he does admit that some users only subscribe for one month to try a game before buying it.

"There are multiple behaviours," Tremblay said. "There are definitely a lot of people who come in for one game and then decide to buy it after [the subscription ends]. That's part of the reality and that's ok [sic] with us."

"That's okay" with Ubisoft for now, but the company would love to see a complete shift to a games-as-a-service (GaaS) model. Tremblay says that the gaming industry is headed toward GaaS just as CDs and DVDs have transitioned to subscription services like Spotify and Netflix. It's just taking gamers longer to get on board.

"One of the things we saw is that gamers are used to, a little bit like DVD, having and owning their games. That's the consumer shift that needs to happen," he said. "They got comfortable not owning their CD collection or DVD collection. That's a transformation that's been a bit slower to happen [in games]. So it's about feeling comfortable with not owning your game."

His vision is not unfounded, but the transition to a universal GaaS is a long way away, and what it looks like will not likely be singular publishers with independent platforms. The VoD (video-on-demand) industry is experiencing massive subscription fatigue currently. Big video-streaming players are folding under people's natural inclination not to subscribe to every VoD service available.

Consumers have spoken with their wallets, declaring that they prefer homogenized services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu over singular networks like Disney+, Paramount+, or HBO Max. This dynamic has caused a bit of a panic, prompting larger companies to buy up smaller producers or re-launching content on platforms they canceled licensing with not so long ago.

Tremblay acknowledged subscription fatigue as a problem, and gamers may ultimately prove an even harder crowd to win over. A large swath of the game-playing populous is tolerant of a few homogenous subscriptions like Game Pass or PlayStation Plus that allow them to play online games with the bonus of having a library of free-to-play older and newer titles from various publishers. Far fewer think, "What's another $20 per month for one publisher's games?"

Tremblay didn't specifically mention any solutions to subscription fatigue but said that Ubisoft is "embracing" the problem.

"[Subscription fatigue] is part of the consumer reality," he concludes. "And I'm a dad with teenagers... it's difficult to keep up with what you're subscribing to and where. That's part of the challenge we have as a subscription service, and we're embracing that."

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That "executive" can kiss my A$$. He says it's "Evolution" of gaming. No, It's evolution of making more $ and doing less.

I'm so tired of consumers getting the shaft the past 4 years. Since COVID, it's all about gouging the living F out of us. Well guess what, we're about tapped out as a society.
 
What these people don't get is the moment they mess with the games collection I paid for, the next moment is they lose everything.
Once I licensed the game, I am entitled to play it no matter the source of the bits that make up the game, be it bluray or 🏴‍☠️bay
 
I have zero interest in a subscription service. I'm perfectly fine with waiting 6-12 months for new releases to drop in price then snap them up in one of the many sales offered. That way I pay once, not tied to a monthly fee and can play the game at my leisure.

Same thing with music. I'd rather pay Amazon or some other seller .99 for an mp3 song to download and can then load it up on one of my various devices. Then I can listen to the exact music I want in any play order I want instead of being stuck with some streaming service that plays a lot of stuff I'm not interested in (plus ads and annoying "DJ's") while waiting for that ONE song I really want to hear.
 
"The point is not to force users to go down one route or another," he explains. "We offer purchase, we offer subscription, and it's the gamer's preference that is important here. We are seeing some people who buy choosing to subscribe now, but it all works."
I've already seen this article talked about on another site. Clickbait and all.
But yours seems more disingenuous considering you've left out a rather important quote (I would consider).

That said, if they ever make it a burden to buy games (instead of making it more convenient to sub), I'll be taking my money elsewhere.
 
I've already seen this article talked about on another site. Clickbait and all.
But yours seems more disingenuous considering you've left out a rather important quote (I would consider).

That said, if they ever make it a burden to buy games (instead of making it more convenient to sub), I'll be taking my money elsewhere.
""One of the things we saw is that gamers are used to, a little bit like DVD, having and owning their games. That's the consumer shift that needs to happen," he said. "They got comfortable not owning their CD collection or DVD collection. That's a transformation that's been a bit slower to happen [in games]. So it's about feeling comfortable with not owning your game.""

From the article. Gaslighting the audience by saying " oh were not trying to force anything, no no no, they just have to get used to not owning games" isnt the win you think it is.
 
I guess that Ubisoft is trying to do a reverse piracy.
Pirates don't pay for the games they own.
Ubisoft wants consumers to pay for the games they don't own.

Piracy isn't an issue, Ubisoft scamming people is. This is BS and they suck. The last game I thought they made which was worth getting was Prince of Persia.
Too many people, mean too many companies, too many games, and options, clones, inferior products.
The market is saturated. Music and Movies too. Too much choice, 98% dross.
What a waste of time money and effort. Honestly humans are dumb. Quit ya jobs, stay at home. Say no to slavery. !
 
@Ubisoft
To whom it may concern,

My money, my rules! If you want ANY of my money, you will respect my rights to OWNERSHIP of that which I pay for, which includes any and all copies of games I'm expected to pay for. I don't rent games.

Put another way, kindly go fu$! youselves! Return to doing your games DRM free or you will NEVER see anymore money from me!

Deeply sincerely,
All members of the gaming public who are NOT mindless sheep!

PS, It might also help if you stopped churning out games that were mindless, runny, doggy doop. Go back to making games that are actually fun, interesting and worthy of our time & consideration.
 
Why own games? I would much prefer an nft that represents items in a game and then I don’t need to own the game, as it’s not a game anymore - it’s an actual reality. Ubisoft. Live the dream (playing the same games with a reskin since 2007)
 
Well, you also have to blame the consumers who actually are buying these subscription services, without whom, companies like Ubisoft will have to pull down the shutters.
 
I can always go the route of DRM removal..
You could, but then Ubisoft would just accuse you of "stealing" after they've denied you access to titles you've paid for..

Well, you also have to blame the consumers who actually are buying these subscription services, without whom, companies like Ubisoft will have to pull down the shutters.
Good point! Mindless sheep ARE the problem..
 
Ubisoft is right, sadly. Too many stupid people that go straight to streaming.

DVD/Bluray are becoming hard to acquire because a lot of movies and shows either originate on some streaming service or it goes to a streaming service that the show/movie belongs to, such as Disney. We are now, more than ever, stuck being reliant on these streaming platforms to allow us access to these shows/movies. Many people like it because of the at easy access they have at their fingertips, but they don't realize (I'm sure some don't even care) that they're giving up control.

The same thing is slowly happening to games. It'll go to streaming services in the next 10 years or so. That's what we'll be left with.
 
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