Stay on target
Selling post-launch downloadable has become a standard in the gaming industry, but it appears that one of the biggest publishers is about to do away with it — at least partially. Ubisoft has announced that moving forward; it will no longer charge players for DLC that is essential to the core experience of a game. The company is seeking to support its titles for five to ten years via free downloadable maps and microtransactions.
“The key is if it’s not adding something on top of the actual experience of the game, then it is no good. Because you’ll be asking for more money for the wrong reasons,” Ubisoft VP of live operations Anne Blondel-Jouin told GamesIndustry.biz. “Also, if the content is compulsory for the gamers, it’s no good as well. It is a way to deliver more fun to gamers, but they have a choice to go for that extra fun or not.”
She added: “If I take an analogy of an amusement park, you can go through all the rides, but then you can also go to the shop to buy some food or merchandise or whatever… regardless of whether you spend in the shop, you’re still part of the whole experience.”
As for an example of how Ubisoft’s strategy will work, one needs to look no further than the company’s own Rainbow Six: Siege. This game has released a decent amount of DLC maps since its launch, but none of these expansions cost gamers a single dime. The game does have microtransactions, but those are relegated to character and weapon customizations. If one doesn’t buy these items their core gaming experience is unaffected.
This change in strategy is the second shake-up that Ubisoft has announced. Just last week, the company stated that it is moving away from scripted narratives and that it wants each title to be its own “anecdote factory.”