Published in Gaming

Ubisoft wants you to get used to not owning games

by on17 January 2024

Of course you will still pay for them

Ubisoft has changed the name of its online game service again, and launched a cheaper PC version of its "Classics" package.

The publisher's subscription boss, Philippe Tremblay said that the reason is to make players "comfortable" with not owning their games.

It's hard to keep track of how many times Ubisoft has renamed its online game hubs, with Uplay, Ubisoft Game Launcher, Ubisoft Connect, Uplay+, Uplay Passport, Ubisoft Club, and now Ubisoft+ Premium and Ubisoft+ Classics, all names used in the last ten years or so.

It's baffling why anyone would want any of them, given Ubisoft only released five non-mobile games last year.

Tremblay said that there was a demand and the company's subscription service had its best ever month October 2023.

He claimed the service has had "millions" of subscribers, and "over half a billion hours" played.

What's more scary about all this, though, is when Tremblay goes on to say how Ubisoft wants to see a "consumer shift," like the one for CDs and DVDs, where people have switched to Spotify and Netflix, instead of buying physical media to keep on their own shelves.

Given that most people are starting to get hacked off with Netflix and its like, for getting rid of content they like, it is weird to hear someone say this as it is a good thing.

Tremblay said: "One of the things we saw is that gamers are used to, a bit like DVD, having and owning their games. That's the consumer shift that needs to happen. They got comfortable not owning their CD collection or DVD collection. That change has been a bit slower to happen [in games]. As gamers grow comfortable in that aspect... you don't lose your progress. If you resume your game at another time, your progress file is still there. That's not been deleted. You don't lose what you've built in the game or your engagement with the game. So it's about feeling comfortable with not owning your game."

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