Ubisoft Leaning More Into F2P, Wants To "Be Trending Towards AAA Ambitions"

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor May 14, 2021
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As if you couldn't tell from its recent announcements, Ubisoft is going to make a bigger push for free-to-play games in the future. In its full-year earnings call from earlier this week, the developer and publisher said that it is "building high-end free-to-play games to be trending towards AAA ambitions over the long-term."

Ubisoft Senior Analyst Sean Lama clarified some of that commentary, which had centered around the notion that Ubisoft would make fewer full-priced AAA games, via Twitter:

While we don't want to read too much into Lama's comments -- as he suggested we not do regarding the original news -- it's curious that he uses Call of Duty: Warzone as a comparison, as we've already guessed free-to-play The Division Heartland, announced last week, will be a battle royale. This moves that probability needle a little farther in that direction, I'd think.

Overall, though, I think that Ubisoft's decision to focus more on F2P titles is just a case of a big developer realizing there's money to be made outside of the traditional boxed-game market. It's a sort of "Everyone else is doing it, so why don't we?" situation.

As for the games "trending toward AAA," I think that's still a bit of a mental block for some people, who still lump F2P games in with cheaply made, low-quality games. There certainly are plenty of those -- F2P and paid -- but there are also plenty that achieve high production values and top-tier graphics. Warzone is a spinoff of a major AAA game, but there are plenty of standalone F2P titles, like Apex Legends, Guild Wars 2, Genshin Impact, and even Fortnite, that nobody would think of as low-grade. Ubisoft likely won't skimp on the budget for whatever it makes in the future, but don't invest too much in the company's likely future claims that its games represent some kind of pinnacle of F2P design and polish.

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

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